MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Don’t expect to see Marco Andretti in any capacity at many NTT IndyCar Series races this year, other than the 105th Indianapolis 500, according to his father and team owner Michael Andretti.
Marco Andretti announced earlier this month that his full-time racing career was over, but he would still compete in the 105th Indianapolis 500. Marco Andretti is still listed as an owner of the No. 98 Honda fielded by Andretti Autosport, but the future of that entry other than the Indianapolis 500 remains uncertain.
“I’m not sure yet,” Michael Andretti said Tuesday regarding his son’s plans for 2021. “I haven’t really talked to Marco. I’m not sure he’ll be going to the races he’s not driving at. In fact, I know he’s looking to do other series, other types of driving.
“There probably won’t be a lot of that. I don’t think we’ll see him a lot at the IndyCar races. He’s going to be doing a lot of other stuff, which is part of the reason why he took this decision. He thinks it’s a great opportunity to see what it’s like to drive different types of race cars and things like that.
“Probably to answer your question, probably not much of that from Marco this year.”
Andretti Autosport announced James Hinchcliffe as the team’s fourth full-time driver on Tuesday. The popular driver from Canada will drive the No. 29 Honda. He’ll join fellow full-time Andretti Autosport drivers Alexander Rossi, Colton Herta and Ryan Hunter-Reay.
What happens to the No. 98 entry after Marco Andretti competes in the 105th Indianapolis 500?
“With Marco, we actually threw a scenario out that it may come down to only doing Indy only, a few other races,” Michael Andretti said. “I think when we put that out to him, he started thinking about, ‘You know what, this time in my career, where I am, maybe it’s time for me to try some other things as well and just focus mainly on Indy.’ That’s the big one he still wants to win. He knows deep down inside that he can still win it.
“I was completely behind him on his decision. I respected it. That’s not to say he’s not going to be back full-time again in IndyCar in the future. But I think right now, for what he needed for his head and everything, I think in the end it was a smart decision on his part, mature decision. We’ll see what happens.”