Marco Andretti’s decision to withdraw from full-time IndyCar competition does not affect Bryan Herta’s commitment to the Andretti Autosport-Honda team, despite joint ownership of the #98 entry.
Andretti announced on Friday that he was going to pursue other opportunities within motorsport while remaining with his father Michael’s team for the Indy 500, possibly competing in some other races and also making himself available for testing.
It’s therefore uncertain how many race entries there will be this year for the #98 car, which Marco co-owns with his father and also Bryan Herta. However, Herta has told Motorsport.com that he plans to remain with Andretti Autosport for the foreseeable future.
“Bryan Herta Autosport remains committed partners with Andretti Autosport,” he said. “We like going racing together and we’ll continue doing that.
“But obviously Marco’s decision changes how that might look for the coming year. It’s still to be determined whether Marco will do any other races than Indy.”
Herta, whose final year as an IndyCar driver at Andretti Autosport was Marco’s rookie season, said that he was “pleased for Marco,” that he’d made this decision.
He said: “Marco called me on Thursday, and I don’t know how long he’d been thinking about it but he was certainly very clear that his decision was the right one for him, and that’s good.
“There’s a lot of things that Marco still wants to do in racing, and Indy’s obviously always been the biggest one so now he can focus on that. But there are other things he wants to try that maybe he hasn’t been able to in the past, so it will be interesting to see where he pops up this year.”
Asked whether the #98 will run as an occasional or Indy-only fifth car for Andretti Autosport, or if it will be a full-season entry with another driver – alongside Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Colton Herta and James Hinchcliffe – Bryan Herta said that had still not been ironed out.
“It’s not fully determined how many cars the team will run full-time, but we’re heading down to Sebring to test on Tuesday,” said Herta. “Marco’s still going to test, as planned, and we’re going to talk about and work through what the future looks like.
“That’s not to say the #98 will run all year, and it’s not to say that it won’t. But somehow we will continue together.”
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