2022 Writers’ Roundtable, Vol. 40: Intriguing Driver Transfer?

October 12, 2022

At the moment’s query: AJ Foyt Racing not too long ago added Benjamin Pedersen and Santino Ferrucci to its driver lineup for the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. Additionally in new seats for subsequent 12 months are Alexander Rossi at Arrow McLaren SP and Kyle Kirkwood at Andretti Autosport. Acknowledging that there are nonetheless car-and-driver bulletins to be made – the second seat at Juncos Hollinger Racing involves thoughts – which of the 4 confirmed modifications most intrigues you at this level within the offseason?

Curt Cavin: I count on Rossi to be robust within the Arrow McLaren SP seat, so I’m going to keep away from that one for the aim of this dialogue. To me, Kirkwood would be the one to look at subsequent season as his ends in 2022 didn’t match the hype we anticipated of him given consecutive collection titles in USF2000, Indy Professional 2000 and Indy Lights. He completed within the prime 15 solely 3 times in 17 races, and he had at the very least seven races that ended with contact. Clearly, Ferrucci and Foyt shall be an intriguing mixture within the Indianapolis 500 offered by Gainbridge, and I’m to listen to what Ricardo Juncos and Brad Hollinger do with their second automotive — that might be the staff that takes a giant soar in 2023. However for now, my consideration is on Kirkwood within the No. 27 Honda.

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Joey Barnes: I’m positively intrigued to see what Kirkwood can do. That mentioned, the Santino Ferrucci and AJ Foyt Racing mixture has my consideration. Generally you simply see one thing come collectively, and there’s only a feeling like, “OK, that matches.” I feel that’s the case with Ferrucci becoming a member of Foyt. With the Dallas resident being two years faraway from being a full-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver, spending the vast majority of the time rising his racecraft in different areas just like the Chili Bowl Nationals and NASCAR, together with the random Indianapolis 500 begins or super-sub responsibility, there’s so much to be interested by together with his full-time return. Moreover, Ferrucci is simply 24 years previous even with all that have. Backside line, he has taken conditions not match for him and moved ahead on race day. Now, with a staff constructing setups round him – and rookie teammate Benjamin Pedersen – they actually might be a gaggle to drag off some magic in 2023. It’s an outfit of underdogs, and I feel that’s precisely the scenario that performs into Ferrucci’s fiery persona and driving type.

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Paul Kelly: The dynamic of Alexander Rossi becoming a member of Arrow McLaren SP intrigues the hell out of me. How will he adapt to only the second staff of his NTT INDYCAR SERIES profession after spending his first seven seasons at Andretti Autosport? How will he modify to a Chevrolet engine after seven years powered by a Honda? How will he adapt to having simply two teammates’ information as an alternative of three? O’Ward is an entrenched race winner at AMSP and the driving force round whom the staff was constructed. Rosenqvist loved a really robust second half of 2022 and seems to enter 2023 with momentum and confidence bred by his outcomes and McLaren’s choice to not ship him to System E. Everybody presumed Rossi’s troubles since ending second and third within the standings in consecutive seasons in 2018-19 have been as a consequence of Andretti’s struggles as a staff since 2020. And Rossi reminded everybody of his expertise by successful the Gallagher Grand Prix final July at IMS to finish a 49-race streak with no victory. However Rossi shall be below a shiny highlight all subsequent season throughout his first 12 months at AMSP. He should ship, which in all probability consists of at the very least one win and contending for the title.