Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta who drives the No.26 Gainbridge Honda in the NTT IndyCar Series for the upcoming 2021 season which gets underway next month with the season-opening Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on April 18 has confirmed that he will have a new strategist this season.
Speaking during IndyCar Content Day on Thursday, Herta revealed that his father, Bryan who is a co-owner of Marco Andretti’s Indianapolis 500 entry will serve as his chief strategist during the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season.
Speaking about significant changes at Andretti Autosport over the off-season, Herta said:
Yeah, it’s a little different. What’s kind of been nice, now my dad is actually my strategist, which I don’t think — a lot of people didn’t know that. It’s very unknown in the media. Yeah, I’m looking forward to that.
Obviously I lost George and Mike. I’m very grateful for what they did for me to get me into INDYCAR. But looking forward this year, working with the whole Andretti crew, also my dad, which is going to be a big change for me.
Herta who made his full-time IndyCar Series debut in 2020 in the No.88 Capstone Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport Honda confirmed the news about working with his dad saying:
No. Yeah, never talked to him on the radio until we were testing wintertime. It’s been very different. I don’t think he’s ever heard me talk on the radio before. He’s always kind of put me in the best position for people that are very smart to work around me and help me with that. I think for most teenagers growing up, the last thing they want to hear is their parents nag them and tell them what to do.
I understand that he’s right, but that is the last thing I wanted to hear (smiling).
Herta doesn’t see any problems arising from him working with his dad as his strategist saying:
I think you can tell by now that we’re both pretty mellow. We don’t get excited and we don’t get upset or very sad. We stay pretty even. Our emotions don’t really get the better of us.
I think in that aspect, I think the other personalities will get heated at each other, where I don’t think it would happen with us because of how mellow we are.
Herta may not be working with George Steinbrenner IV or Mike Harding in 2021 however, that doesn’t mean that the pairing is no longer involved in the NTT IndyCar Series this year.
James Hinchcliffe, who returns to full-time NTT IndyCar Series competition this season driving the No.29 Honda as part of Andretti Autosport will have support from Andretti Autosport but the entry is operated by Mike Harding and George Steinbrenner with the Mayor of HinchTown confirming to Paddock Eye on Friday that his deal is a one plus one deal meaning he will race with the team through to the end of the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season.