Verizon IndyCar Series team owner Michael Andretti has finally made his decision and Andretti Autosport will be staying with Honda as its engine partner in upcoming seasons.
Andretti Autosport made the announcement Thursday morning at 9 a.m. ET. Autoweek reported last week at Gateway that Andretti was likely returning to Honda for next season and the remaining years on the new contract.
“It’s no secret that we’ve been weighing this decision for a while now,”Andretti said.“We’ve had strong relationships and have marked milestones with both manufacturers, but we’re pleased to continue our Honda partnership. We have a great history of success with Honda and I have no doubt that together, our collection of achievements will continue to grow.”
Andretti has captured three series championships with Honda 2004, 2005, 2007, as well as five Indianapolis 500 victories 2005, 2007, 2014, 2016, 2017. Since its inception in 2003, Andretti Autosport has secured 56 IndyCar Series victories -- 47 of those under Honda power.
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Honda has been a fixture in North American open-wheel racing since 1994 and has played an active role in the growth of Indy car racing -- as both a manufacturers' championship competitor and single-engine supplier -- since joining the series in 2003. “We’re extremely happy to continue our successful partnership with Michael Andretti and Andretti Autosport,”said Art St. Cyr, president, Honda Performance Development.“As Michael stated, his team has played a major role in our success at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, including victories at three of the last four Indy 500s. In addition to success at Indianapolis, 47 of Honda’s 225 Indy car victories through the years have been scored by Andretti Autosport. Together, we’re looking forward to adding to this already impressive total in the future.” Andretti will turn its focus on setting the team’s 2018 stable of drivers. With series and Indy 500 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and third-generation racer Marco Andretti already contracted through the next season, the team will confirm and announce its remaining drivers in the coming weeks.
Contrary to reports from other media outlets, second-year driver Alexander Rossi has not agreed to remain with Andretti next season and is currently negotiating not only with that team but the other Honda teams in the Verizon IndyCar Series. He appears to be in serious negotiations with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
By Bruce Martin
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