Indianapolis 500 winner and 2016 Sunoco rookie of year winner Alexander Rossi will remain with Andretti Autosport in 2017, the team confirmed on Monday.
Following weeks of speculation regarding the American’s future and reports linking him to Penske, Rossi has committed his immediate future to Andretti Autosport. Rossi will reunite with Bryan Herta in the No.98 Honda as it was confirmed last week that the Andretti/Herta partnership will continue next season.
Speaking about the renewed partnership with Alexander Rossi, Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti commented by saying:
Alexander showed tremendous growth this year and we are excited to welcome him back to the team, In his first IndyCar season, Alexander was able to form trusting relationships with the team’s engineers, mechanics and his teammates and that itself is a great foundation to begin 2017. We also know he is competitive and can win races. Continuity plays a big role in the success of our programs and being able to confirm that Alexander is remaining with the team is incredible. His extension, along with Ryan [Hunter-Reay] and Marco’s [Andretti] continuance is a promising factor for not only the team, but the series as well.
Rossi finished the 2016 campaign in 11th place just behind Carlos Munoz and just ahead of Ryan Hunter Reay. Speaking about the deal, Bryan Herta, co-owner of the No.98 Honda commented by saying:
Knowing that Alexander will be returning to the No. 98 Andretti-Herta Autosport car provides us with the stability and continuity we need to strive for even higher results, Last season showed great progress, and I could not be more excited about our prospects moving forward. Last season we were late in the game putting our deal together. This winter we are focused on the season ahead, the continuation of our successful partnership with Andretti Autosport, and seeing Alexander become a consistent winner in the Verizon IndyCar series.
President of Honda Performance Developement Art St. Cyr commented by saying:
We are extremely pleased that Alexander Rossi and Andretti Autosport have chosen to continue their partnership. “That combination gave all fans of Honda Racing a lifetime thrill with its victory in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Alexander’s further development in winning IndyCar Rookie of the Year honors was one of the highlights of the 2016 season. We are confident that we can look forward to many more such thrills as a result of the extension of this agreement.
Alexander Rossi will once again line up alongside Ryan Hunter Reay and Marco Andretti and speaking about the announcement, the Californian native stated:
What an incredible eight months this has been. “from getting the opportunity to join the Verizon IndyCar Series in February, to winning the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in May and now re-signing with Andretti Autosport. I am incredibly proud and grateful to be able to have the opportunity to work with a team of this caliber as we chase after more race wins and continue to make our mark in this amazing championship. I want to thank Michael [Andretti], JF [Thormann], Bryan [Herta] and Honda for the faith and trust they have in me to put the Andretti name at the front. We have a lot of work ahead of us and we are already completely focused on being back at the sharp end of the grid where we belong.