IndyCar Driver Review: Marco Andretti

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With the IndyCar season in the books and a limited amount of news to come since the season finale at Fontana, my MotorSportsTalk colleague Chris Estrada and are taking a look back at the 2013 season just past. Chris and I each ranked our top 10 drivers and some of the biggest stories; now we take a look back at the field driver-by-driver.

Rounding out the top five in points, here’s Marco Andretti…

2013 SEASON PREVIEW

Marco Andretti

  • Team: Andretti Autosport
  • 2012: 16th Place, Best Finish 2nd, 1 Pole
  • 2013: 5th Place, Best Finish 3rd, 1 Pole, 2 Podiums, 6 Top-5, 15 Top-10, 259 Laps Led, 8.9 Avg. Start, 8.9 Avg. Finish

DiZinno says: Easily his best year in IndyCar. He should have won Milwaukee and Pocono and seemed a more mature, complete, well-rounded driver for the rest of the year. He made huge strides both in qualifying and on street courses, not overdriving the corners. He took a look in the mirror, reassessed where he needed to improve, worked with a driving coach and the results were evident throughout the year. Fifth and top of the Andretti Autosport quartet certainly was an unexpected surprise; now nothing less than multiple wins and a season-long title challenge will suffice in 2014.

Estrada says: A revitalized effort on road and street courses propelled Andretti to a fine campaign in 2013. You have to give him credit for taking the initiative and getting the help he needed to raise his game in that discipline. Nonetheless, his most noticeable outings were on the ovals at Milwaukee and Pocono, where he looked especially strong until bad luck ruined his days at both of those tracks. Still, he has to be chomping at the bit to get 2014 underway after finally pulling together a great, all-around year.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.