Andretti Autosport head to the Verizon IndyCar Series season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, Florida having signed former F1 test driver Alexander Rossi during the off season.
It was a big winter for the team outfit who have merged with fellow outfit Bryan Herta Autosport and in doing so have given Rossi the opportunity to race in IndyCar.
Rossi joins Andretti Autosport regulars, Ryan Hunter Reay, Carlos Munoz and Marco Andretti at the team and will drive the No.98 Honda for the season and will make his Indianapolis 500 debut at the Brickyard in May.
Rossi will be hoping to get up to speed at St Petersburg and showed great progress when he made his test debut with Andretti at Sebring Raceway.
Speaking exclusively to Paddock Eye about Rossi and his fellow rookie Max Chilton, Mario Andretti stated:
Max Chilton and Alexander Rossi are two aspiring young men with infinite potential. They’re trying to make their mark. IndyCar is a true alternative and a great opportunity for a driver to expand their skills, not only on road courses, but on short ovals and super speedways.
Alexander Rossi commented on his first time in the car by saying:
It’s been a positive day and a half, so far, The car is pretty similar to other things I’ve driven. There’s quite a bit of downforce, which is fun for a driver to have. At the end of the day, it’s an enjoyable car to drive and I’m looking forward to racing it next week.
The Californian native when on to say:
The first set of tires was a bit of a learning experience, but I think by mid-morning yesterday, we were on pace with everyone else, The adaptation came pretty quick, now it’s just working on test items. I think we’re pretty pleased with the way the team has come together and performed as a whole.