Paddock Eye reported the news last night that Juan Pa.blo Montoya will stay with Team Penske next season to run the Indianapolis 500 only.
That news didn’t come as a surprise and with Montoya tied to Penske and not allowed to race for another team next season it means that there is one less driver competing for a full time seat.
So here is what we know:
Team Penske Chevrolet
1 Simon Pagenaud
2 Josef Newgarden
3 Helio Castroneves
12 Will Power
Chip Ganassi Racing
8 Max Chilton TBC (The former F1 driver has not yet been confirmed for next season with Ganassi managing director Mike Hull confirming to Paddock Eye that they will make an announcement about their fourth car soon.
9 Scott Dixon
10 Tony Kanaan
83 Charlie Kimball
Chip Ganassi Racing have switched from Chevrolet to Honda and are working on securing a replacement primary sponsor for the No.9 following Target’s withdrawal from the Verizon IndyCar Series.
11 Ed Jones
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
15 Graham Rahal
26 Takuma Sato (likely to be confirmed in the coming days)
27 Marco Andretti
28 Ryan Hunter Reay
98 Alexander Rossi returns for a second season in partnership with Bryan Herta
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
5 James Hinchcliffe
7 Mikhail Aleshin
Dale Coyne Racing
18 TBC Conor Daly remains in the frame to retain his seat for next season with RC Enerson also a contender for the drive.
19 Sebastian Bourdais
Ed Carpenter Racing
20 Ed Carpenter /Spencer Pigot TBC
21 JR Hildebrand TBC / Oriol Servia TBC
AJ Foyt Racing
AJ Foyt Racing are currently finalizing a engine change from Honda to Chevrolet for 2017 and the Texas based outfit are likely to have an all new driver line-up.
14 Carlos Munoz is set to join the team as the Colombian is in advanced talks with the outfit which would see effectively a straight swap between Andretti and Foyt, Sato for Munoz.
41 Conor Daly has revealed that he is also in advanced talks with the team that gave him his Verizon IndyCar Series debut at the 2013 Indianapolis 500.
It certainly seems now that Juan Pablo Montoya is remaining with Penske next season that the domino’s will begin to fall into place.