James Hinchcliffe is without a drive in the NTT IndyCar Series for 2020 if reports from the United States are to be believed.
It has been claimed that the Mayor of HinchTown has been replaced at Arrow McLaren SP by Patricio O’Ward and Oliver Askew.
If the reports prove to be correct and Hinch is out of drive for 2020 the NTT IndyCar Series could find itself with a lot fewer fans given Hinch’s popularity in the sport.
Hinch along with Alexander Rossi, Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon is the face of the sport and for him not being on the grid could prove to be devastating for the sport.
Paddock Eye must stress that at this time it is pure speculation that Hinch won’t be a Arrow McLaren SP driver next season as nothing official has come from the Canadian or McLaren.
So where do this leave the Canadian? Paddock Eye understands that Hinch’s options are limited. Despite his strong links to Honda the doors at Ganassi are shut despite the team signing his former team mate Marcus Ericsson to partner Scott Dixon and Marcus Ericsson.
The other options is Dale Coyne Racing alongside Sebastien Bourdais however it is understood Santino Ferrucci is set to continue with the team following an impressive 2019 season.
The other option is a third car with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing although this seems unlikely as Bobby Rahal confirmed recently that attempts to run a full time third car for next season were no longer looking feasible.
Paddock Eye understands that Carlin will continue with Max Chilton for road an street courses but it is unlikely that Hinch would want to run a part time schedule.
The other option is for Hinch and former Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports president Jon Flack to set up their own team but given the time scale needed for such a move this seems unlikely.
If Hinch is not on the grid in 2020 it will be a massive blow to the NTT IndyCar Series.