Photo: John Cote/INDYCAR

2019 Indy Car Preview: Felix Rosenqvist

Editor’s note: Motorsports Tribune will be previewing the NTT IndyCar Series season for the full-time drivers in the series leading into the 2019 season opener at St. Petersburg on March 10.

Age: 27

Team: Chip Ganassi Racing

Years in Indy car: Rookie

Career Wins: 0

Career Podiums: 0

Felix Rosenqvist is the most talented European racer to come race in America full time since Nigel Mansell.

Now that you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor, let’s examine this flamethrower of a hot take. Rosenqvist has won four championships during his racing career: 2008 Formula Renault 2.0 Asia, 2009 Formula Renault 2.0 Sweden and Formula Renault 2.0 NEZ (Northern European Zone) and the 2015 FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

All the while he’s won the Macau Grand Prix back-to-back in 2014 and 2015, finishing second in 2012 and 2016 as well. The Swede also won the Masters of Formula 3 race at Zandvoort twice, becoming only the second driver to do so after current Mercedes F1 driver Valtteri Bottas. After winning these prestigious Formula 3 events, one would have assumed that Formula 2 was next, but nothing came about.

Rosenqvist did a partial Indy Lights campaign in 2016, winning three races and scoring five top-five finishes of the other seven races he ran that year. He also finished third in the 2016-2017 Formula E season and third in the 2017 Super Formula season in Japan after five top-five finishes in seven races.

Still racing in Formula E in 2017-2018, Rosenqvist also raced in Super GT as well before signing with Chip Ganassi Racing to partner Scott Dixon.

Partnering Dixon is no easy feat. Since the end of the 2005 NTT IndyCar Series season, Dixon has had many teammates with varying degrees of success. Dan Wheldon won six races and finished second, fourth and fourth in the points from 2006-2008. Dario Franchitti won three championships in a row from 2009-2011 and an incident at Houston in late 2013 forced him to retire from racing.

Tony Kanaan won the final Indy car race of 2014 and that was the last time time that the No. 10 car saw victory lane. Since that time, Ed Jones tried in 2018 but could only manage a pair of podiums and a few top-10 finishes sprinkled in. Rosenqvist has a mountain to climb if past Dixon teammate performances are any indication.

Rosenqvist’s journey to Indy car racing did not follow a typical path for an Indy car driver. However, looking at his past results, it’s hard not to be hyped for the driver who could be Indy car racing’s next Super Swede.

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.