Colton Herta has seven wins and two poles in his seven year NTT INDYCAR Series career. That might sound like a great achievement to most but the American driver is disappointed in his last race season with Andretti Global.
“I am not happy that I did not win a race last season.”
” We have a little bit of off-season testing so far and a few other days to come in the
future. Just working on different things. Then obviously St. Pete got to kind of set the tempo right in that first race and see where we can go from there.”
“Obviously the biggest thing for us, moving from four to three cars and trying to concentrate that effort. And yeah, excited for what happens with it. Everyone is always excited in the off-season and think that they’ve found a lot. And we truly feel the same, and I guess we’ll have to wait and see if it pays off.”
” I think for us, we’ve gotten a lot of testing done with the hybrid already, which has been great. Now that we know that, we still have a few more hybrid test days coming up and some without the hybrid. So it’s going to be very crucial for those days to mark down the
differences in the two because that could be a season killer for sure if your car is great without it or with it and vice versa.”
“You go into the later half of the year or halfway point of the year, whenever it gets introduced, and your season can be flipped. You really have to stay on the ball and understand the differences between the two.”
AR1 asked Herta what he thought the technical challenges were to adapting to the new hybrid.
“I think it’s a few things. I think it’s down to engine manufacturer and who kind of implements the new gearbox and how the engine power is transferred, and
the hybrid part of it is transferred to the power train. And how well that is done for drivability is going to be a big thing.”
“I think Honda has done a tremendous job with that so far, from what I’ve seen.
But obviously once it’s actually put into play, it could be a whole different story because of the timeline and how long down the road it will be. So development is still ongoing and everyone is making their car better day by day with it.”
AR1 spoke with a Honda representative about the reason for the delay of the hybrid introduction and they confirmed the issue is getting components for the engines and the gearboxes.
Marcus Ericsson has joined Andretti Global for his sixth season in the NTT INDYCAR Series. One adjustment will be getting used to his new dark blue driver suit.
“It’s going to take a bit to get used to not being in red because I spent like four years with that.”
“Yeah, super excited about this upcoming season. It’s a lot of change, of course, when you come to a new team. A lot of people to get to know. It’s been an interesting few months, but yeah, can’t wait to get going here in St. Petersburg in a couple months.”
“The transition has been super good. It’s been easy to come into the team. Very welcoming. And also with Kyle and Colton, I know them a bit from before, of course. But doing more stuff with them, it’s been really fun, and they’re two really good guys.”
“I was lucky to get a few tests here in the off-season, and that’s been good to sort of speed up that process. Now I feel very much as an Andretti driver.”
“It’s a cool team to be in with the history and the Andretti family. I’m very proud to be part of that. ”
The 2022 Indy 500 winner was asked his thoughts on how the hybrid engine coming in mid season will effect the championship.
“It will definitely be a bit of a game changer when we introduce that. It’s obviously not a solid — like we don’t know exactly what race it will be, so that’s going to be a moving target.”
“But I think we might see a season where it’s sort of two phases, where some teams are really strong up until the hybrid, and then when the hybrid gets introduced, there might be a change of — some teams might figure that out quicker than others. That’s going to be the big challenge.”
“I think for me — and for us really — I think it will be good. I think we have a lot of clever people in Andretti and a lot of really good engineers.”
“I’m excited about the hybrid. I think it will be really good. I think also it’s going to be a hybrid that requires drivers to think and plan and be a step ahead. For me, that’s
something that excites me because I like to think I can manage better than some of my competitors.”
Lucille Dust reporting live from Indianapolis