- Credit: Chris Owens, IndyCar

Askew not returning to Arrow McLaren SP, to race St. Pete if fit

Oliver Askew and Arrow McLaren SP announced Monday evening that the rookie will cease his involvement with the team in IndyCar after 2020.

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Askew excelled in his IndyCar debut at Texas in June, quickly adapting to the series' unique challenges. However, in the race that followed - this one on the IMS road course - he crashed out, and he would suffer a similar fate in the races that followed at Road America with lackluster performances at the lakeside track.

In Iowa, he was able to cement his status as an exceptionally strong oval driver by claiming the first podium of his career at the bullring oval. However, the second race of the doubleheader would not go his way.

A mistake as he navigated carnage at the Indianapolis 500 a race later saw Askew hit the barriers with extraordinary force, and after yet more misfortune marred the Gateway doubleheader for the Floridian, it was learned that he had been experiencing concussion-like symptoms.

He was barred from contesting the Harvest GP doubleheader as a result, but even before then he trailed the leading rookies - the result of inconsistent performances, many of which failed to match those of his teammate. And, while it is not known if this was the cause for the divorce, it is considered a potential factor.

Other reports state that a quote from the agent of Askew from late last month put the team into disrepute. A statement from the team did not address this, but it did clarify that he will be contesting the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in their colors so long as he is deemed fit to do so. A replacement for 2021 has not been specified.

Said Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt of the split, “We believe that Oliver [Askew] has a great deal of talent and potential for the future. He has had an incredibly difficult rookie year, with a lack of overall track time and recent medical issues. We want to give Oliver [Askew] the time to pursue new opportunities for 2021 and the ability to race at St Pete. Come the end of the year, we will wish Oliver the very best in all of his future endeavors and he will always be a friend of the team.”

Askew added, “It’s been a steep learning curve this year but I appreciate all of the experience I have gotten with Arrow McLaren SP. I’ve certainly had to develop very quickly as a driver and I know I have shown my speed and capability when able to this season. However, I think it makes sense to pursue the next chapter of my career outside the team. I am grateful for all the support I’ve received from my crew, the team and all the fans. I wish the entire team well in the future.”

[This story was written by me for FormulaRapida and edited by Darshan Chokhani]

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