Marco Andretti changes driving style after 2012 IndyCar struggle
|By Mark Glendenning||Tuesday, January 15th 2013, 19:41 GMT|
Marco Andretti is optimistic that changes to his driving style will help him to rebound from his worst IndyCar season ever after returning to testing at Sebring earlier this week.
In a year where fellow Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay won the championship, Andretti finished a career-low 16th in the 2012 standings.
But he is hoping that a change in his approach to road and street courses will allow him to be more competitive in 2012.
"My overall style, I've changed it," he told the official IndyCar website.
"It has given me a new perspective for street courses. Now I'm actually reporting the same things as Ryan, where normally I'd be talking about the car being loose.
"I'm getting the same feedback from the car now that I've changed my style to be doing more of what he's doing."
Andretti believes that his recent problems have stemmed from being too hard on his tyres.
"I adapted slower than most to the tyre that has less grip than [in] 2006 and 2007 because I'm a very aggressive driver and it has kind of worked against me," he said.
"I always knew I was overdriving the car but I didn't know how, so I have been really studying that. You have to look at what you are doing, and as the street courses progressed I got worse and worse because I was driving harder and harder.
"This off-season I've really been looking into how I've been doing that, and essentially I was trying to make the front tyre do two things at once.
"You want to drive with your natural style because that's how you're going to be your quickest, but at the same time you have to drive with the tyre.
"When you put me into a high-downforce car, sometimes my style is untouchable because the aggressiveness rewards you with grip. But it hurts you with no grip."
Andretti, who changes car numbers from #26 to #25 for the new season, was joined at Sebring by Hunter-Reay and team-mate James Hinchcliffe, and Penske duo Will Power and Helio Castroneves.