IndyCar: Andretti planning driver, sponsor announcement for Sunday in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Before Sunday’s ABC Supply Co. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest Presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers, Andretti Autosport will hold a driver and sponsor announcement at 11:40 a.m. CT.

The unnamed driver, said sponsor representative and team principal Michael Andretti will all be on hand.

Smart money is on Indianapolis 500 and two-time defending Milwaukee IndyFest champion Ryan Hunter-Reay and DHL; RHR seeks a three-peat Sunday and DHL, just recently, was confirmed as Victory Lane sponsor once more for this race. Both RHR and the team have expressed publicly their intent to continue together as RHR’s current contract was extended through 2014; he last re-signed in late 2012.

Of course it could also be James Hinchcliffe, who the team had a one-year option to extend into 2015. Hinchcliffe has made several additional Honda-related appearances in the last week with his TUDOR United SportsCar Championship one-off in a Honda-powered Riley DP, and was also on hand at a David Hobbs Honda appearance on Friday.

Marco Andretti is signed through 2015 and Carlos Munoz would likely not command such an announcement, given his sponsors are current Andretti-affiliated products Cinsay and AndrettiTV.com.

A lesser but still potential possibility is Simon Pagenaud, who has been linked to Andretti since the summer. However, Pagenaud told the Indianapolis Star’s Curt Cavin Saturday he’ll be deciding his future after the season ends.

Or, it could be something out of left field none of us have seen coming all around.

We shall stay tuned to see who this announcement reveals, officially.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”