FORT WORTH, TX — I wrote entering the season that Alexander Rossi was betting on himself. He was a free agent at the end of the 2022 season but wasn’t just going to return to Andretti Autosport unless things changed. He was open to signing a new contract but would rather bet on himself to see if he could have better results which could in turn sway him to either stay or maybe even test the market to see what his value was elsewhere as well.
But, if results didn’t change, he most certainly would be gone.
So far through two races, I don’t see why he’d want to come back. Rossi qualified 13th and finished 20th in St. Pete and now started 12th and finished 27th in Texas. That has him 27th in points out of 29 drivers.
Rossi, was sixth and fourth respectively in practice in St. Pete but only qualified 13th. The team elected to not pit with everyone else that hadn’t already done so on Lap 27 of the 2022 season opener. They were desperate to stay in the front. So, he’d lead 10 laps but have to pit on Lap 37. Without a yellow the rest of the way, that move pushed him further down.
For Texas, he had a mechanical failure on Lap 11.
“At least we saw the green,” he’d say. That’s how low that it’s gotten for him. Now, he’s reeling even further.
He hasn’t won a race since Road American in 2019. He led 54 of 55 laps that day. In fact, that was the 10th race of that season. At that point, he had led in 7 of the 10 races to account for 182 laps led.
But, over the last 39 races during this winless streak, he’s led a total of 95 laps. He led 83 laps in 2020, two last year and 10 in St. Pete. That’s it.
Also during this 39 race drought, he has finished 17th or worse in 7 of his last 19 starts. He had 6 finishes of 17th or worse in his previous 47 races.
The prime of his INDYCAR career is being wasted and he’s not anywhere near to where he expected to be in his career path in terms of success yet.
The Andretti Autosport driver seemed to be on a quick path to a championship once he won his second career NTT IndyCar Series race in Watkins Glen during that 2017 season. From the Toronto race that season through the one at Road America in 2019, Rossi had six wins, 16 podiums and 22 top five finishes in a span of 33 races. But, over the last 39 races, he’s yet to win, has just 8 podiums and only 11 top fives.
He was second in the championship in 2018 and third in 2019. But, this dip started during the middle of that ’19 season which is why he didn’t hoist the Astor Cup championship trophy that season and why he’s hasn’t yet overall. He was 10th in the final standings last year.
That’s why with him being in the final year of his contract, he’s not just running to the negotiating table with Andretti Autosport to reup. He feels like the results could be better for both sides.