Marco Andretti opts for part-time IndyCar switch, considers IMSA

Marco Andretti has announced he will no longer be a full-time IndyCar driver, but is targeting Indy 500 glory and other iconic races in other series

Marco Andretti opts for part-time IndyCar switch, considers IMSA

Andretti has scored two wins since making his IndyCar debut in 2006, and as recently as last August took pole for the Indianapolis 500.

However, he has notably struggled with the current car on road and street courses admitting his late-braking technique requires a 'solid' rear end - something that disappeared with the arrival of the IR-18 in 2018.

"Upon some careful thought over the past couple of months, I have made the decision to make some changes to my racing activities and focus for 2021," Andretti wrote on social media.

"I recently shared this decision and the changes that I want to make with my Dad [Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport team owner] and have spoken at length with him about it. I appreciate his openness and for allowing me the flexibility to map out my own course going forward.

"I am fortunate to be in a position at Andretti Autosport to run the full IndyCar season if I want to. But instead, I have decided to change up my direction somewhat - to reset - to do something a little different - look at everything fresh and see where that takes me. And, to me, now seems like the appropriate time to do that.

"I definitely am going to keep driving. I still have a deep passion for it and have unfinished business to take care of and some boxes that I want to check before I consider retiring as a driver.

"First and foremost, I remain very hungry to win the Indy 500. It is our biggest stage and the place that I feel I bring the most to the table as a driver. I've come close there and am in the mix there it seems each year. Winning the pole there last year was awesome but that isn't enough - I know that a victory there is in my future so we'll try to get that done in the coming years.

"As such I have committed to and am looking forward to running the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport this year, in addition to being squarely focused on the Indy 500, I might also take a look at perhaps running some other races on the IndyCar schedule down the road as the season progresses, in order to remain "car fit". I have also offered to help the team with some testing and other activities along the way."

While Marco will continue his involvement in Andretti Autosport, as co-owner of his #98 entry with Michael Andretti and Bryan Herta, the 33-year-old is assessing a potential move into IMSA SportsCar Championship at select races.

"I also want to do some sportscar racing - maybe even get the chance to do some IMSA racing with my cousin Jarett which would be a lot of fun for me," he added. "I'll be looking into other sportscar opportunities as well in the coming months, and would welcome discussions in that regard. Marque events like the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and Le Mans would be on that list.

"I am excited for what the future holds in store for me both on and off the track and, again, am grateful to Dad and Andretti Autosport for allowing me the freedom to change things around as I'd like and to proceed forward a little differently this upcoming season."

Michael Andretti says that he is fully behind his son Marco's decision to reduce his IndyCar commitments and branch out into other forms of motorsport.

"Marco and I have discussed this at length. I both support and respect his decision to take a focus on other areas of life, and maybe even other forms of motorsport," Michael said.



"We were working on a full-season IndyCar entry for him, but he decided he wanted to take a different direction and I respect him for making that decision.

"I think for any multi-generational athlete, it can be really challenging to find your own ground and make your own name on top of your family's. Marco has always had the courage to chart his own path and I'm proud of the career he's built for himself and the person he's become. I know this decision wasn't easy.

"But, like he has said, this is not retirement. He has some great accomplishments behind him and I think he still has many more ahead of him. He's offered to help us out with some testing [starting next Tuesday at Sebring].

"I'm looking forward to having him back with us for the Indy 500, and hopefully maybe a few more races through the season."

shares
comments
Why American racing's top dog is without equal
Previous article

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

Next article

Andretti car plans undecided but Bryan Herta remains committed to IndyCar

Andretti car plans undecided but Bryan Herta remains committed to IndyCar
How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled Plus

How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled

Chip Ganassi Racing team was strong again in the Indianapolis 500, with poleman Scott Dixon and reigning champion Alex Palou leading almost three quarters of the race between them. But when dominator Dixon was penalised for pitlane speeding, ex-Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson stepped up to score the biggest win of his career and seize the IndyCar points lead

IndyCar
May 30, 2022
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