INDYCAR SERIES 2014
still was the allure of being HPD’s top dog.
“With Chevy, we always felt that the ones
who called the shots were the Penske
guys,” he states bluntly. “If Penske didn’t
want this or that, it wasn’t going to happen.
Going with Honda ruled out that concern.”
Another concern that Andretti doesn’t
have is his driver lineup. Hunter-Reay drove
even better in 2013 than in his title-winning
year; Hinchcliffe scored his first three wins;
Marco Andretti finished fifth in the title race
and was unlucky not to bag a couple of
victories, and Indy Lights graduate Carlos
Munoz has come on board full-time after
making a startling debut in the Indy 500,
qualifying and finishing second.
“Ryan is the most complete driver out
there, in my opinion,” says Michael. “There
are guys who can match him at each type
of track – road, street and oval – but he’s got
it across the board. He has no weaknesses.
“Marco made great strides in terms of
consistency in 2013, and I’d say he’s
halfway to where he needs to be. He’s our
best oval guy, he can match Ryan on road
courses, and now he needs to focus on his
street course form.
“And James is another Ryan in the
making, strong on all tracks, and with the
confidence of getting his first wins under his
belt. He, too, needs to work on consistency.
But he’s Marco’s age, and consistency is one
of those things that happens naturally with
more experience of running at the front.”
And the Colombian rookie in the No. 34?
It seems Munoz, like Honda’s new engine, is
one of those additions to Andretti
Autosport’s 2014 program that is currently
unknown, but expected to be excellent.
“Everyone remembers how strong Carlos
was at Indy and also Fontana,” says Andretti,
“but in between he did a one-off for Panther
at Toronto, just stepping in at the last minute,
and his race pace was good and he got it to
the finish. That was very impressive. Combine
that with the performances he gave us in
Indy Lights, and also his form in testing, and
I think we’ve got a guy who’ll be quick on all
types of track. But obviously he’s still got a
lot to learn about the big cars.”
In terms of drivers then, if Hunter-Reay’s
quality is unquestioned, and Munoz will be
cut some slack as a rookie, the spotlight will
be on Hinchcliffe and Andretti Jr. as they
seek to raise their games. Marco’s fifth place
MarcO andretti (USA)
“ryan hunter-reay is the
most complete driver out
there. he’s got it across the
board. he has no weakness”
IndyCar Series starts 119
Best ch’ship finish 5th (2013)
Best Indy 500 finish 2nd (2006)
Notables Andretti led more laps than champ
Scott Dixon, but suffered poor luck. Key to
fifth in the points were 15 top- 10 finishes.
JaMeS hinchcliFFe (CAN)
IndyCar Series starts 44
Best ch’ship finish 8th (2012 & ’ 13)
Best Indy 500 finish 6th (2012)
Notables Hinch’s first three wins came from
withstanding pressure (St. Pete), applying
pressure (Sao Paulo) and dominating (Iowa).
rYan hUnter-reaY (USA)
IndyCar Series starts 109
Best ch’ship finish 1st (2012)
Best Indy 500 finish 3rd (2013)
Notables Despite finishing only seventh in
points last year, the 2012 champion led
more laps than all but one of his rivals.
has disproved the
adage that great
drivers make poor
team owners. The
’ 91 champ’s team
won four series
titles in nine years.
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