Franchitti: Rosenqvist's diverse CV will aid Ganassi IndyCar switch

David Malsher
Autosport
Franchitti: CV will aid Rosenqvist IndyCar switch
Franchitti: CV will aid Rosenqvist IndyCar switch

Four-time IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti says Felix Rosenqvist's wide-ranging experience of driving multiple types of cars leaves the Swede well-placed to quickly adapt to IndyCar with Chip Ganassi Racing.

Rosenqvist will replace Ed Jones - the driver Franchitti mentored during a challenging 2018 campaign - and will partner reigning champion Scott Dixon this year.

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The ex-Mahindra Racing Formula E driver has previously tested twice for Ganassi in 2017, during the series' manufacturer aerokit era, and was high on the team's shortlist thereafter.

Jones's struggles and the "right timing" for Rosenqvist meant a deal was done for 2019. Franchitti said he thinks Rosenqvist, who has already tested for his new team, will adapt quicker to the pace in IndyCar than Jones had.

"He's a different character [to Jones]," said Franchitti. "Felix is feisty and I don't think he's intimidated by much.

"He's got a lot to learn, no question about it, but he's clearly got loads of talent.

"He'll have to work hard to learn about the ovals, but he's absolutely more than capable of it. He'll be fun, and it'll be exciting to watch how he develops.

"And he impressed everyone at Ganassi in the two tests he did with us at Mid-Ohio.

"Yes, those tests were with the manufacturer aerokits, but Felix was also very good at Barber last month with the current car, so I don't anticipate any issues for him.

"It's up to every driver to develop a driving style that works with the car they're given and I think he will.

"He's used to driving all kinds of cars - Formula 3, Super Formula, Indy Lights, Formula E, GT cars, and so on - and he's been impressive in all of them, and those experiences will be very helpful.

"Also, because the manufacturer aerokit tests were quite a while ago, he's coming to this car with not much experience but also no preconceived ideas and without a lot to unlearn.

"So listening to his feedback after that Barber test was pretty interesting, because of the things he was picking out to highlight as a rookie."

Franchitti: CV will aid Rosenqvist IndyCar switch
Franchitti: CV will aid Rosenqvist IndyCar switch

Franchitti also defended Jones, who since being dropped by Ganassi has secured another season in IndyCar through a partnership with Ed Carpenter Racing and Scuderia Corsa.

"Ed's a driver that gets better with time," said Franchitti.

"He's not a driver who gets out there and does the job on his first flying lap. He builds up to it, and often you don't have time to do that.

"And to be fair, all of the drivers who have been in the team recently - Ed, Charlie [Kimball], Max [Chilton] and even TK [Tony Kanaan] - have been somewhat shocked by what Scott does, what he's capable of.

"I don't think we've had the easiest cars to drive in that period since I retired [in 2013], and Scott has been able to adapt to that better than his team-mates."

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