Webber: Couldn’t have got much more than 4th

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Mark Webber believes that finishing 4th is the best result he could have wished for in today’s Hungarian Grand Prix after the Australian driver made good use of his strategy to make up for a poor qualifying display yesterday.

Webber started P10 on the medium tire and managed to lead the race in places, but he could not quite catch teammate Sebastian Vettel in the final stages of the race, forcing him to settle for P4. However, Webber does not believe the team could have done any better.

“I think we had the right strategy,” he said in a team statement after the race. “We knew there was a lot of pressure on getting a good first lap and I got some clear air, which worked well.

“I don’t think we could have got much more than that result today. The strategy was pretty solid and you have to pace the option tires until the end.”

The result does however see Red Bull extend their lead in the constructors’ championship by two points over Mercedes, taking their total lead to 79 points. Once again though, Webber proved his ability to fight through the field and fight with the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel despite being in his final season of racing.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
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A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

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