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Felix Rosenqvist to Replace Simon Pagenaud at Meyer Shank Racing in 2024

Written by Archie O’Reilly, Edited by Sharifah Zaqreeztrina

Credit: Joe Skibinski

Felix Rosenqvist will replace Simon Pagenaud at Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) in IndyCar in 2024 as he signs on a multi-year deal, the team have confirmed. Rosenqvist departs Arrow McLaren, who will be searching for a new driver to complete their lineup with Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi, after it emerged that reigning champion Alex Palou would not be honouring his contract with the team.

Pagenaud, 39, has missed the last eight races, and will miss the final round at Laguna Seca. This is due to a violent crash, which saw him barrel roll several times, as a result of a brake failure in practice at Mid-Ohio. He has since been forced to follow IndyCar’s creditably strict concussion protocols, meaning duty in the No.60 car has been shared by Conor Daly, Linus Lundqvist and Tom Blomqvist, who will drive the No.60 for MSR in 2024.

15-time race-winner Pagenaud picked up a single podium for MSR before finishing 15th in the standings in his first season after moving from Team Penske last year, although he only managed a best finish of 13th in Detroit before being sidelined.

Performances from deputies for Pagenaud this season, particularly Lundqvist, who transferred to the Fast 12 on debut at Nashville and finished 12th-place in his second race at the 2023 Gallagher Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, have proven that a fresh face could benefit MSR in the No.60.

Credit: Chris Owens

Rosenqvist is a logical replacement for Pagenaud given he has become accustomed as a front-runner at Arrow McLaren, and previously Chip Ganassi Racing during his two years with the team. The Swede won at Road America for Ganassi in his only victory, also taking two second-places across the two seasons.

Rosenqvist has also taken three podiums in his three seasons with McLaren - two third-places, and a second-place last time at Portland. He is also a four-time pole sitter in the series, taking three of those for McLaren. Across his time with the team, as they have got to grips with IndyCar competition, he built an excellent dynamic with O’Ward.

Having almost completed his fifth year in IndyCar after a move from Formula E, where he won three races, Rosenqvist’s best championship finish remains sixth-place in his rookie year. This followed by an eighth-place in his second year at McLaren. He is set to finish 12th in 2023.

The Swede has, on the whole, had an unfortunate 2023 season, where various issues - many being incidents out of his control - have taken away the prospect of a number of strong results.

"I'm super excited to start the next chapter of my INDYCAR career together with MSR," said Rosenqvist. "This will be a great opportunity for myself and MSR to elevate and get to the next level together. I'm also pretty excited to get to work with my old friend Tom [Blomqvist] again. I'm ready to start working together and getting the next season started."

Credit: Joe Skibinski

It is, as previously mentioned, all change for MSR as Blomqvist takes on duty in the other car for the team. Rosenqvist will offer a seasoned head alongside a rookie driver that has plenty of experience in other disciplines.

Meanwhile, Pagenaud, a series champion and Indianapolis 500 winner, is now left as a free agent. Nevertheless, his known pedigree and vast experience does make him a desirable option for teams if he is passed fit, which an accident for NASCAR’s Kurt Busch, who has now retired, at Pocono Raceway last season proved is by no means a given.

Pagenaud thanked the team for their efforts in his own statement, admitting: "I wish we could have achieved more together over the last two seasons and win races but we could not make it happen."

He continued to say: "For now my goal is to fully focus on myself and recuperating. It is a slow process and I will continue to work with the doctors and do what is necessary to get my health back to 110%."


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