Andretti Autosport uncertain over Sonoma progress

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Andretti Autosport uncertain over Sonoma progress
David Malsher
By: David Malsher
Sep 24, 2016, 1:56 AM

Team manager Rob Edwards has warned that Andretti Autosport’s upturn in performance in the season finale at Sonoma isn’t necessarily a sign that its road course troubles have been solved across the board.

Rob Edwards, Andretti Autosport
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport Honda
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport Honda
Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport Honda
Alexander Rossi, Herta - Andretti Autosport Honda

Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi finished fourth and fifth last Sunday, after qualifying sixth and eighth. And 2012 IndyCar champion Hunter-Reay said only a tactical error in qualifying and his own poor race start prevented an even stronger showing.

However, Rob Edwards said that the team’s struggles with shock and damper setups had not been comprehensively laid to rest, thus echoing Hunter-Reay’s similar comments this week.

Said Edwards: “If you look at this team’s fantastic history, you wouldn’t describe it as a great result [in Sonoma]. I’d describe it as solid… and certainly stronger than some of our performances elsewhere this season.

“But we can’t say we’ve definitely made progress. Andretti cars were strong at Sonoma the past couple of seasons.

“So it’s not like after one decent race we’re suddenly thinking, ‘OK, we’ve got it all sorted out now.’ We’ve been forming some opinions, we’ve had a chance to try those theories, and I think we at least have a direction now.”

The four Andretti drivers Carlos Munoz, Rossi, Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti finished 10th, 11th, 12th and 16th in the championship, although Indianapolis 500 winner Rossi would have been eighth had his fuel tank not run dry on the final turn of the final lap at Sonoma, dropping him from fourth to fifth place.  

Asked if it was a setup change that should work at other natural road courses such as Barber Motorsports Park, Road America and Watkins Glen – all tracks where Andretti Autosport has notably struggled this season – Edwards said, “My honest answer is that I don’t know. But we will need to try this setup philosophy on more than one track to see if our theories hold up.”

With the freeze on aerokits for 2017, IndyCar has also imposed restrictions on testing, and this will naturally the teams who have underperformed this season will be hit hardest.

But Edwards said: “If we test at the right places, do the right type of testing and do it in a methodical manner, we can still learn what we need to learn.”

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About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay , Marco Andretti , Alexander Rossi , Carlos Munoz
Author David Malsher
Article type Breaking news