Andretti Autosport drivers Alexander Rossi and Marco Andretti will swap cars for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series. The move will see Marco move over to the Andretti-Herta #98 Chevrolet that Rossi has driven since his debut in 2016. Rossi will move over to the #27 Andretti Autosport car.
At the start of 2016, Bryan Herta‘s IndyCar squad was merged with Andretti Autosport for a partnership on one car. Rossi drove the #98 for his rookie season and bought it to victory lane in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in a memorable race. Rossi would bring the Andretti-Herta car to victory lane again earlier this year at Watkins Glen; outpacing his three team-mates en-route to his second-career win.
“I’m thrilled to be continuing the partnership with Andretti Autosport,” said Bryan Herta, who became the strategist for Marco for last season, “The relationship has worked really well both on and off the track for us and our partners. I’m looking forward to moving back onto the #98 timing stand with Marco and can’t wait to get the 2018 season started.”
Rossi may have had a successful start to his IndyCar career, but Marco has had a less of a great time over the last few years. His results have prompted criticism from onlookers, but Marco hopes that his move to the Herta entry for 2018 will spark an upturn in fortune:
“I’m very much looking forward to being in the Andretti-Herta entry,” said Marco, “My goal is to bring the No. 98 another Indy 500 win along with many other victories. Working with Bryan has been refreshing – he is very committed to getting me all the tools I need to get back into victory circle. He believes in my talent and is dedicated to turning that into results.”
The car switch for Rossi and Andretti is the second line-up change of the winter for the Andretti Autosport squad. Earlier this year, the team announced that they would be replacing their 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato with rookie and Indy Lights graduate Zach Veach. The trio will join the unchanged #28 DHL Chevrolet driver of 2010 series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The team will be hoping that their new-look line-up will propel them to 2018 success. Three of their four full-time drivers finished in the top ten in the championship standings by the end of the year, but the team will be hoping for much more in the new year.
The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series kicks off on March 11 with the season-opening Grand Prix of St Petersburg.