Seven years removed from his team’s last NTT IndyCar Series championship and four years out from its most recent trip to victory lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Michael Andretti has pinned his hopes on a retooled line-up to get his team back in the title-contending game.
Andretti Autosport’s been led by Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi, and the outgoing team veteran Ryan Hunter-Reay in recent years, and with the addition of Romain Grosjean to the mix in Hunter-Reay’s former car, their team owner is hoping the roster evolution will lead to a rise that challenges Chip Ganassi Racing, Team Penske, and Arrow McLaren SP for IndyCar supremacy.
“Romain brings a lot of experience, which I think is good, and maybe he’ll bring in some new ideas,” Andretti told RACER. “I think he’s gonna be a championship contender. And you know, I think he’s gonna fit right in; his personality is really good and he’s such a nice guy. I know everybody’s gonna get along really well, which is important. He brings a lot to the party.”
Andretti is looking forward to the 10 years of Formula 1 knowledge — mostly on the procedural and technical sides — that Grosjean can infuse within the Honda-powered program. And then there’s the inevitable reckoning that will come when the Swiss-born Frenchman hits the track with Herta and Rossi.
Outside of their dedication to Andretti Autosport, Herta, and Rossi, and Grosjean want to be the fastest and most successful drivers within the team, and it’s here where they will be tested once the 2022 season gets under way.
From the owner’s perspective, all he wants is Andretti Autosport to be No. 1 in the series. From the perspective of his three wickedly fast and highly aggressive drivers, No. 1 status within that team is up for grabs with Grosjean’s arrival. The internecine battle should make for a fascinating storyline to follow as the trio chases next year’s championship.
“Well, I think the goal is that they all push each other,” Andretti said. “Romain even makes the comment that he can’t wait to work with Colton and Alex and help each other. So I think I think it’s going to be good in that way. I think they’re all going to help each other. They better help each other!”