Michael Cannon, Daly’s race engineer at Dale Coyne Racing, has said the rookie’s abilities in and out of the car echo those of the 2003 Champ Car title winner.
Cannon told Motorsport.com: “Conor is superb. He’s way ahead of where we thought he would be, as a relative rookie.
“We’ve been really conservative so far, haven’t even trimmed the car yet, because we just wanted to give him as many miles as we could while throwing other things at him. And he’s handled it all smartly.
“He makes a lot of wise decisions in the car and he has an excellent way of describing what the car’s doing. He’s got great recall, too. If he’s testing something in the afternoon, he can say, ‘You know that thing we tested four hours ago? If we combine this with that, that will work.’”
Cannon explained Daly’s attitude outside the car and his interactions with the team have impressed him as much as his driving.
“He reminds me of Paul Tracy back when we ran him at Forsythe Racing in 2003,” Cannon observed. “Back then, I was genuinely shocked at how much responsibility Paul took for his lap speed. He didn’t just say that it was down to the engineers to make his car faster; he recognized that he had a contribution to make.
“Equally, if he was sent out on new tires to set a time and he made a mistake and didn’t nail the lap, Paul didn’t pretend it was anyone’s mistake but his. He used to beat himself up pretty badly in fact.
“Well Conor’s got that same mindset. Really, really good."
Cannon suggested it was Daly's heritage as son of a racecar driver and his experience in GP3 and GP2, that had made the 24-year-old from Noblesville, Ind., so impressive after just six IndyCar races spread over three seasons.
"Let's face it, he’s a true student of motor racing," said Cannon. "Conor is not one of these kids just dabbling in the sport because he wants to avoid joining his dad’s company selling widgets, or whatever! He wants to constantly improve himself.
“Conor eats, lives and breathes racing. He’s absorbed everything his dad taught him, everything life taught him, and he’s got a real aptitude for it.”