Arrow McLaren SP’s gamble to pick youth over experience may prove to be a very costly mistake for the Chevrolet powered team.
The NTT IndyCar Series team announced on Wednesday that Oliver Askew and Patricio O’Ward will drive for them next season while James Hinchcliffe has been sidelined but remains contracted to the team.
The decision to affectively bench the Mayor of HinchTown could prove to be extremely costly to the team who are affectively starting out as brand new team with Chevrolet and having two inexperienced drivers could be problematic.
James Hinchcliffe is a race winner and is an extremely competitive and reliable driver and while Patricio O’Ward showed signs of speed in 2019 it remains to be seen if he can do this over an entire season.
Oliver Askew is the reigning Indy Lights champion and although we saw last season with Colton Herta that you can be successful stepping up from one series to another this is not guaranteed to be the case for Oliver Askew.
Arrow McLaren SP co owner Sam Schmidt says that the team want to win the Indianapolis 500 and the NTT IndyCar Series championship but has not put a time frame on this.
Rewind to the Indianapolis 500 in 2018, Hinch failed to qualify while this year McLaren failed to qualify with Fernando Alonso and with two affective rookies in the team this season it is very possible that at least one driver from the team will not make the grid for the Indianapolis 500.
Not only is the Mayor of HinchTown a fan favourite but he is also a favourite among sponsors.
Hinch may be contracted to the team for next season and as we reported yesterday unless he finds a drive elsewhere will be obliged to attend races with the team it is unlikely that we will see him in a car next season.
There are five months until the start of the new NTT IndyCar Series season and with testing taking place over the next few days with the new aeroscreen Hinch faces a race against time to secure a drive for 2020.
The best option for Hinchcliffe would be a third car entry with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing but time will tell as to whether this happens or not.