James Hinchcliffe, Andretti, IndyCar, 2020

Hinchcliffe secures full-time IndyCar return with Andretti

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In the round-up: James Hinchcliffe will return to full-time competition in the IndyCar series this year.

Hinchcliffe confirms full-time 2021 IndyCar programme

Having lost his full-time IndyCar drive last year when his former Schmidt Peterson team metamorphosed into McLaren SP, James Hinchcliffe will return for a full season this year with Andretti.

Hinchcliffe previously raced for Andretti between 2012 and 2014, taking over the car previously driven by Danica Patrick. He scored his career-best eighth in the championship during the first two of those seasons.

He joined Schmidt Peterson the following year, but started just five races before being badly injured in a crash at the Indianapolis 500. He returned to the team in 2016, and scored his most recent victory for them at Iowa in 2018.

Having been left out of a drive by McLaren’s takeover of the team, Hinchcliffe returned to Andretti for six races last year including the Indy 500, where he finished seventh. His planned part-time campaign was expanded when he took over the car vacated by Zach Veach at the end of the year, and he will continued to drive the number 29 machine this season.

“This programme is something we’ve been working on since the day we signed our three-race deal with Andretti Autosport last March,” said Hinchcliffe. “Being back full-time has always been the goal and it feels so great to know that I will be back on the grid and with such an amazing team, one I’ve had a lot of great memories and success with.”

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Comment of the day

George Russell made one of the worst errors of last season at Imola, but that alone isn’t reason to discount him from a future promotion to Mercedes:

I can’t understand why people are using that Safety Car crash as evidence Russell isn’t ready for the Mercedes seat. Was Hamilton crashing in the pit lane in 2008 evidence he got the McLaren seat too soon? His drivers’ championship suggests not. And in terms of this season, was that crash worse than Bottas’s entire Turkish Grand Prix?

In complete agreement about the car playing a part in the rankings too – obviously Bottas’s two wins catch the eye more than Russell’s ninth place, but Bottas spent most of the season demonstratively not getting the most out of the Mercedes – can we really say that about Russell and the Williams?

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Hinchcliffe secures full-time IndyCar return with Andretti”

  1. Good to see that Williams are looking positively towards the future. I really hope they do manage to get themselves back into a positive trend. Last year was not great, but I think it did show some promise.

  2. People talk a lot about the bloated look of today’s F1 cars but that Williams from 2001 looks all kinds of wrong to me. The proportions are just weird, I’m guessing because it’s so skinny with the narrow track we had from 1998 until recently. Still, it gives me good memories of Montoya bursting onto the scene that year, particularly his pass on Schumacher in Brazil. Can’t quite believe it was 20 (20!) years ago.

    1. @frood19 Totally agree, it just looks proportionally wrong all over the place. I think it subscribes to the adage ‘if it looks fast, it probably is’, and the F2001 Ferrari just looks quicker, much more ‘shape’ going on.

      1. @bernasaurus I wonder if the paint job/colour scheme has something to do with it. I think Ferraris always look fast – maybe there’s some social conditioning that makes me think red cars are fast! and the fast looking cars do tend to be quick (though I remember some embarrassing pre-season quotes from many drivers and team principals about slow cars), but again maybe it’s just confirmation bias. The 2018 sauber looked great, for example…

    2. It looks fat in places just because it’s so small.
      The current cars are about a meter longer and have a much smaller waistline – certainly helps to make them appear leaner.

      I think cars from that time (with the beautifully simplified aero) actually looked very reasonable.
      Give me F1 cars this size any day, please. No more Formula Yacht.

  3. I get the feeling Hamilton is being very greedy. How can he ask for so much from mercedes when there are going to be job losses across the company due to a 2020 sales slump.

    Not to mention that mercedes probably don’t need him. Most F1 driver would win in that car, such is the advantage they have.

    Hamilton won’t look good coming out of these negotiations.

    1. @napierrailton
      Except any speculation about the details of the contract are exactly that… Speculations.

      Nowhere does it say officially what Hamilton is demanding.
      Some say it’s money.
      Some say it’s publicity for the causes he fights for.
      Some say it’s contract length.
      Some say it’s teammate vetoes.
      Some say it’s for a % stake in the team
      Some say he’s not interested at all.

      Likely it’s a combination of a few of those… But yet a few of them are also contradictory, and so we can’t say what Hamilton is demanding for sure, so surely it’s best to avoid criticism until we all know more.

    2. I wouldn’t pay any attention to the article about Hamiltons contract, it’s quoted from the worst rag in the country. How they know the details of what Hamilton is demanding is literally hilarious. The fact that ‘racefans’ have even included this tripe in their round up is disappointing.

      1. N Yeah true, they even have LH as the greatest of all time. As to your issue with the ‘rag’ at least the article is made up mostly of quotes from Jordan, so I’d question whether it really matters what publication this article is in. It is not like “they” are giving an opinion on the matter, but are rather just quoting what Jordan’s opinion/speculation is, agree with it or not. So “they” are not claiming to know the details of what LH is demanding. That RaceFans have included an article that is largely Jordan’s actual quoted opinion and speculation is absolutely fine of course, and subject to discussion and debate as always.

  4. The COTD is spot on – I agree with it 100%.

    Re the TCR crash: Something indeed must’ve failed on the car that came out of nowhere.

    Mclaren: Maybe they would’ve been better off using the Renault PU for an additional season unless extending the supply partnership by a year wasn’t an option in the first place. Anyway, their choice, so they’ve got to live with the possible side effects that may affect performance at least in early-season.

  5. Re Williams: Looking forward to a Williams rebuild!

  6. Damnnnn that Williams livery looking hot and my favorite when I was young. Shame that it was not the always quickest car during that time. I even have a hot wheels model of that car.

  7. Jordan says that Hamilton should also be focusing his attention on getting a slice of the lucrative TV payments Merc receive from F1.

    I agree with Eddie that the value of Lewis Hamilton has increased. But Merc also give him a platform worldwide. So it was fair for Lewis getting 10% of Merc’s TV deal but he also need to share part of his personal commercial contracts to the team.

    1. He does. Although all contract info comes with a health warning the original Hilfiger deal was $50 million to Mercedes, $8 million to Ham. IWC was £1 mill to each driver. Ham’s last limited edition watch sold out at £4.6 mill.
      I think this is just Eddie being Eddie to plug his new business adventure; but there is a lot of truth in what he says. At the moment Hamilton is box office and obviously knows his worth, but conversely Merc knows the value of the platform they give him.
      Although I would guess that whatever Ham gains from the deal; Mercedes, Toto and INEOS will gain more.

  8. IMO Montoya’s entry to F1 was when the fan hate really started. Suddenly forums and comment sections were filled with Montoya fans only eager to slam the Schumacher brothers more than praise their man. Any topic was then turned into a way to come out with the hate. It was intolerable. Then just as I thought it was finally over when he quit, the haters all seemed to find a new man in Hamilton and the bashing just continued unabated. 20 years now. Ouch. At least there are not many more years to go before they hopefully all go away as it’s obviously not F1 that’s keeping them.

  9. Really happy for fellow Canadian James Hinchcliffe to be back in Indycar again full time, and with such a great team too.

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