June 28, 2021 1:04 PM ET
Michael Andretti does not expect all of Andretti Autosport’s current full-time driver lineup to return when the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season gets under way. From the four-car roster, Colton Herta holds seventh in the championship with one win, Alexander Rossi sits 13th, Ryan Hunter-Reay is 15th, and James Hinchcliffe holds 20th, with Herta serving as the lone Andretti driver to stand on the podium after nine races.
Of the foursome, only Herta and Rossi are known to have multi-year contracts in place that will keep them in place with the team after 2021.
“I think there’s going to be some change on the driver front, and the goal is to stay at four cars,” Andretti told RACER. “Obviously, we have two locked in right now, and then there’s two that are in question at the moment that we’re working on.”
With a single top-10 finish for Hunter-Reay – a 10th at the second Texas race – and a best result of 14th for Hinchcliffe to date this season, a punishing year for most of Andretti’s drivers has the team owner looking for ways to restore the program’s overall competitiveness. The question is whether one or both of the team veterans could be in their final seasons with the squad.
“Nothing’s finalized in any of it, but there’s gonna be some change, I’m sure,” Andretti said.
As the silly season starts to build, Andretti could have a number of options to choose from, if desired. On top of a talented crop of Indy Lights title contenders – some of whom have the budget available for IndyCar – there are readily available talents like Oliver Askew and Spencer Pigot who’d love to get another shot in the series. And depending on who stays or goes in select situations, there could be some interesting IndyCar free agents for Andretti to consider.
Altogether, Andretti Autosport appears to be headed for a different look when 2022 arrives.
“We’ll see what happens, but yeah, there’s gonna be change,” Andretti reiterated.