2016 Indianapolis 500 winner and Verizon IndyCar Series rookie of the year Alexander Rossi will return to the championship in 2017 after re-signing with Andretti-Herta Autosport.
The young American had been linked with a return to Formula 1 next season but will link up again with the Michael Andretti–Bryan Herta partnership that proved fruitful during the month of May when he took an amazing victory at the Indy 500.
“What an incredible eight months this has been,” said Rossi, “from getting the opportunity to join the Verizon IndyCar Series in February, to winning the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May and now re-signing with Andretti Autosport.
“I am incredibly proud and grateful to be able to have the opportunity to work with a team of this calibre as we chase after more race wins and continue to make our mark in this amazing championship.
“I want to thank Michael [Andretti], JF [Thormann], Bryan [Herta] and Honda for the faith and trust they have in me to put the Andretti name at the front. We have a lot of work ahead of us and we are already completely focused on being back at the sharp end of the grid where we belong.”
Rossi joins Marco Andretti and Ryan Hunter-Reay as confirmed in the Andretti stable, with Carlos Munoz still a possibility in the fourth car, and team owner Michael Andretti is delighted to welcome Rossi back to the team for a second season and believes he will be able to build on his impressive season.
“Alexander showed tremendous growth this year and we are excited to welcome him back to the team,” said Andretti. “In his first IndyCar season, Alexander was able to form trusting relationships with the team’s engineers, mechanics and his team-mates and that itself is a great foundation to begin 2017. We also know he is competitive and can win races.
“Continuity plays a big role in the success of our programs and being able to confirm that Alexander is remaining with the team is incredible. His extension, along with Ryan [Hunter-Reay] and Marco’s [Andretti] continuance is a promising factor for not only the team, but the series as well.”
Co-owner Herta agrees with Andretti that Rossi can grow as an IndyCar driver in 2017, and is hoping the American can become a regular race winner in the championship.
“Knowing that Alexander will be returning to the No. 98 Andretti-Herta Autosport car provides us with the stability and continuity we need to strive for even higher results,” said Herta. “Last season showed great progress, and I could not be more excited about our prospects moving forward.
“Last season we were late in the game putting our deal together. This winter we are focused on the season ahead, the continuation of our successful partnership with Andretti Autosport, and seeing Alexander become a consistent winner in the Verizon IndyCar series.”