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.

Alonso would be ‘very happy’ to finish F1 career with McLaren

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Fernando Alonso says he would be “very happy” to see out his Formula 1 career with McLaren after signing a new multi-year contract with the British team, announced on Thursday.

Alonso, 36, ended speculation about his future by agreeing a new deal with McLaren, hopeful of returning to the front of the field next year when the team swaps Honda power for Renault engines.

Alonso admitted to considering options outside of F1 before agreeing to stay at McLaren, and was thought to only be chasing a one-year extension in order to be in a position to snap up a more attractive seat in the volatile 2019 market.

However, Alonso confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the deal with McLaren stretched beyond the end of next year, adding he would be content to see out his time in the sport with the team.

“I never talk about contracts, but one thing I can say is it is a long-term partnership,” Alonso said.

“I am very happy to finish my career at McLaren. So I don’t think it is going to be only one year.”

Alonso also revealed he had options with teams high up the field in F1 for 2018 just a couple of months ago, but was always leaning to staying at McLaren despite not scoring a podium with the team in almost three years.

“There were some other options in F1. In the summer there were still some options at the top teams, but my desire was to stay with McLaren,” Alonso said.

“But at that time they were in conversation with different engine suppliers, so I had to give them time to sort out their situation.

“Then McLaren opted for a Renault engine which delayed my decision, because I had to understand what Renault’s plans were for next years.

“But when I had everything on the table, everything was pretty clear.”