IndyCar
R
Birmingham
16 Apr
Next event in
4 days
23 Apr
Next event in
11 days
R
Texas
30 Apr
Next event in
18 days
R
Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race 1
14 May
Next event in
32 days
28 May
Next event in
46 days
R
Detroit
11 Jun
Next event in
60 days
R
Road America
18 Jun
Next event in
67 days
R
Mid-Ohio
02 Jul
Next event in
81 days
R
Toronto
09 Jul
Next event in
88 days
06 Aug
Next event in
116 days
R
Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race 2
13 Aug
Next event in
123 days
R
Gateway
20 Aug
Next event in
130 days
R
Portland
10 Sep
Next event in
151 days
R
Laguna Seca
17 Sep
Next event in
158 days
R
Long Beach
24 Sep
Next event in
165 days

Carpenter would choose Daly over one of the F1 exiles

Team owner Ed Carpenter says that he’s focused on retaining Conor Daly and the U.S. Air Force sponsorship for 2021 rather than chasing a European star from F1 or F2.

Carpenter would choose Daly over one of the F1 exiles

With a selection of talented and experienced Formula 1 drivers and promising F2 drivers coming to the end of their current contracts, there has been much speculation over the past eight weeks that one or two might make the move to IndyCar.

The F1 talents as yet unconfirmed in rides include Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez (who has said he would prefer a sabbatical to a ride in a different series), Daniil Kvyat and Romain Grosjean. Meanwhile Callum Ilott, currently second in the F2 championship with two rounds to go, also has no F1 options available.

Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet was thought to be particularly attractive to European drivers given that the ride available is in the #20 car for road and street courses only, since Carpenter himself races that entry on the ovals. In addition, ECR is known for the quality of its operation: with Josef Newgarden at the wheel, ECR was a championship contender as recently as 2016, eventually finishing fourth in the points table.

However, as yet, no such transatlantic move has been made, although Kevin Magnussen will drive Chip Ganassi Racing’s Cadillac in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

Carpenter says, in fact, that he has not been sifting through the European talent, because he would prefer instead to retain Conor Daly and the U.S. Air Force sponsorship for a second year. This past season, Daly competed in all eight of the road/street course races and the Indy 500 with ECR alongside Rookie of the Year Rinus VeeKay, while racing the other five oval rounds for Carlin.

Carpenter told Motorsport.com: “We’re working through it at the moment, but our hope is to have not only Conor but also the U.S. Air Force return for next year. We’re working through it, it’s still in motion and we hope to have some positive news some time soon – but we never like to count our chickens before they’re hatched. Hopefully, at the minimum, the program will look the same as it did last year.

“Conor and I see each other every day, he and I train together, so we’re working hard collectively to get things buttoned up.

“So… yeah, I’ve really just been focused on keeping the program that we have, and I haven’t done as much outreach as I have in other years.

“I want the continuity. We’ve had quite a lot of change over the last four years and I really think it’s important to settle in. We really like both Rinus and Conor, and so that’s been what I’m working toward – trying to keep things as they are so we can focus on moving forward as a team.

“I’m aware there are good F1 drivers available, but I haven’t looked outside of IndyCar as I have in other years because I like what we have already.”

Carpenter added that the potential renewal of the USAF’s deal with ECR, and the U.S. Space Force’s one-off deal for the #20 car at this year’s Indy 500, were not necessarily tied together.

“They’re connected but also separate at a certain level,” he said. “For us, I think the stars aligned with the timing of their announcements and unveiling their logo and this year’s 500 being delayed. It was certainly a great experience for us, an honor, but I don’t know if there’s a future for ECR and U.S. Space Force somewhere down the road. Certainly we’re not at the same stage of talks regarding Space Force as we are with the Air Force.”

Ed Carpenter's ECR-Chevrolet in the U.S. Space Force livery in the 2020 Indy 500.

Ed Carpenter's ECR-Chevrolet in the U.S. Space Force livery in the 2020 Indy 500.

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
VeeKay satisfied in IndyCar, has interest from rival teams

Previous article

VeeKay satisfied in IndyCar, has interest from rival teams

Next article

Grosjean “wouldn't race any car without a halo” after crash

Grosjean “wouldn't race any car without a halo” after crash
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1 , IndyCar
Drivers Conor Daly , Ed Carpenter
Teams Ed Carpenter Racing
Author David Malsher-Lopez
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car? Prime

Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car?

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indy car game-changer that won three Indy 500s in six years.

IndyCar
Dec 23, 2020
How Newgarden delivered his best season, yet still lost Prime

How Newgarden delivered his best season, yet still lost

Josef Newgarden was our pick as top IndyCar driver of 2020 but his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield the championship. David Malsher-Lopez explains why.

IndyCar
Dec 18, 2020
2020 IndyCar Review and Top 10 drivers of the year Prime

2020 IndyCar Review and Top 10 drivers of the year

David Malsher-Lopez explains how the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series was unlike any other, and why it featured familiar and unfamiliar faces competing for glory.

IndyCar
Nov 27, 2020
How Dixon won his sixth IndyCar title, in his own words Prime

How Dixon won his sixth IndyCar title, in his own words

Chip Ganassi Racing’s newly crowned six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon takes us round by round through his remarkable season. David Malsher-Lopez listens.

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2020