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Friday, February 23, 2024

IndyCar 2023 season overview: Andretti Autosport

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#26 – Colton Herta, tenth within the championship standings (356 factors) – 17 races

  • 0 wins, 1 podium, 3 high fives, 8 high 10s, 2 poles, 8 Quick Six Appearances
  • Finest End: third (Toronto)
  • Finest Begin: 1st (Highway America, Mid-Ohio)

#27 – Kyle Kirkwood, eleventh within the championship standings (352 factors) – 17 races

  • 2 wins, 2 podiums, 2 high fives, 7 high 10s, 1 pole, 5 Quick Six Appearances
  • Finest End: 1st (Lengthy Seashore, Nashville)
  • Finest Begin: 1st (Lengthy Seashore)

#28 – Romain Grosjean, thirteenth in championship standings (296 factors) – 17 races

  • 0 wins, 2 podiums, 2 high fives, 3 high 10s, 2 poles, 6 Quick Six Appearances
  • Finest End: 2nd (Lengthy Seashore, Barber)
  • Finest Begin: 1st (St. Petersburg, Barber)

#29 – Devlin DeFrancesco, twenty second in championship standings (177 factors) – 17 races

  • 0 wins, 0 podiums, 0 high fives, 0 high 10s, 0 poles, 1 Quick Six Look
  • Finest End: twelfth (Detroit)
  • Finest Begin: fifth (IMS Highway Course – Race 2)

#98 – Marco Andretti, thirty fifth in championship standings (13 factors) – 1 race

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  • 0 wins, 0 podiums, 0 high fives, 0 high 10s, 0 poles, 0 Quick Six Appearances
  • Finest End: seventeenth (Indianapolis 500)
  • Finest Begin: twenty fourth (Indianapolis 500)

Joey Barnes: Let’s begin on the apparent and that’s the thriller of how issues fell aside between Andretti Autosport and Romain Grosjean. On paper, it was the right marriage that ought to have thrust each to a number of race wins and podiums on the trail to compete for a championship. What it ended up being was unfilled potential, with solely two poles and two runner-up finishes that additionally stood as Grosjean’s solely top-five ends in 2023. The tempo was evident however, by way of a mix of eventualities, the partnership between a extremely gifted driver and good group did not reside as much as expectations.

Kyle Kirkwood made a direct impression by successful in solely his third race with Andretti and did so by exhibiting super poise heading off team-mate Grosjean. If there was motion occurring on the observe, often Kirkwood’s No. 27 was seen proper within the mixture of it – good or dangerous. Whereas Lengthy Seashore and Nashville have been super drives that led to wins, I assumed his comeback from early chaos and phone in Detroit to complete sixth was his finest efficiency of the yr. Merely put, if he can restrict being on the backfoot and set up extra consistency as a routine top-five contender, he’ll be a big-time risk to problem for championships.

I definitely didn’t have Colton Herta going winless on my bingo card in 2023. It needs to be famous how there gave the impression to be a task of musical chairs on race technique occurring atop his timing stand as Andretti tried to seek out one of the best mixture to deliver probably the most out of Herta. It appeared as if there was belief that wanted to be rebuilt on that finish. There have been flashes of mid-season tempo, however it appeared like each robust begin led to an equally devastating collapse in some type. Each good driver goes by way of a stoop or two, and Herta is much too gifted for it to proceed in 2024.

Photograph by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Colton Herta, Andretti Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Nick Degroot: Should you had instructed me Kirkwood could be the one Andretti driver to achieve Victory Lane in 2023, I might have by no means believed you.

And that is not a knock in opposition to Kirkwood, who is a superb driver and can solely get higher with time. However Herta going winless? Grosjean’s nightmarish yr? I actually did not anticipate it.

Kirkwood was the one vivid spot in a irritating yr for this iconic organisation. Grosjean began the season by practically successful at St. Pete, crashing out late in a tangle with Scott McLaughlin. He then scored a few runner-up finishes, so I believed it was shaping as much as be a breakout yr for the ex-F1 driver. Sadly, it was only one catastrophe after one other from the Indy 500 onwards.

Herta’s yr mirrored 2022 in some ways, and I used to be disillusioned with the shortage of progress we noticed from each he and the No. 26 group.

Unforced errors and drama between team-mates have been an unlucky theme with Andretti lately. There have been so many missed alternatives. Nonetheless, I really consider 2024 is when this ship is righted because the squad downsizes from 4 to a few full-time vehicles. The group has additionally added a really stable driver in Marcus Ericsson, who will race alongside Herta and Kirkwood.

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