Ganassi distracted during 2014 IndyCar build-up says Scott Dixon

Outgoing IndyCar champion Scott Dixon believes that internal distractions over the winter played a role in his Chip Ganassi team's slow start to the 2014 IndyCar season

Ganassi distracted during 2014 IndyCar build-up says Scott Dixon

Dixon has recovered from a poor start to the year to win two of the last three races, backing up his victory at Mid-Ohio with another win at Sonoma last weekend.

However, the reigning champion heads into this weekend's Fontana finale 103 points adrift of Will Power, and the New Zealander admitted that the team had not developed as fast as it needed to during the winter.

"I think we started the season a little light in development," Dixon said.

"We had a lot of other projects as a team going on with the switch in engine manufacturer, but the switch to Chevy [from Honda] was actually very smooth.

"Internally, we switched the sportscar team from BMW to Ford, which was a big deal. Especially with running Daytona and Sebring at the start of the year.

"It took a lot of effort to get that achieved, which took away a little bit from the IndyCar programme."

While Dixon believes that Ganassi had no trouble establishing a good relationship with Chevrolet, he suspects that the team was not quick enough to adapt to the needs of the new engine.

"The engine drives totally different to the Honda," he said. "I think we were maybe a little stuck in our ways in compromising the car for how the engine drives.

"We've been able to find more of a middle ground recently, which has definitely helped."

In addition to dealing with a change in technical partner, Ganassi also spent the off-season dealing with the unexpected retirement of Dario Franchitti and re-expanding to four cars after running three in 2013.

Tony Kanaan replaced Franchitti, and Ryan Briscoe was added alongside Dixon and Charlie Kimball.

Dixon did not point to any one change as a factor in the team's early struggles, but said that all of them created small complications of their own.

"[There were] a lot of changes internally with every debrief session - one truck with four drivers, as opposed to just me and Dario, then you'd meet [the other two drivers] at the end of the day," he said.

"There's been a lot of little changes. I don't think there's been one thing significant to derail anything. It's just been lots of changes.

"It was a huge change with Kanaan coming into the team, [and] to figure out what he likes.

"Dario and I had a set pattern. It's just not like that right now, but we're getting closer to it.

"I think that will be big for next year."

shares
comments
Indy Lights champion Gabby Chaves confident of 2015 IndyCar deal
Previous article

Indy Lights champion Gabby Chaves confident of 2015 IndyCar deal

Next article

IndyCar adds New Orleans' NOLA Motorsports Park to 2015 calendar

IndyCar adds New Orleans' NOLA Motorsports Park to 2015 calendar
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Plus

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets is now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021