Andretti’s fourth car remains a question mark as IndyCar silly season rolls on

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INDIANAPOLIS – In the last 24 hours Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (James Jakes, full season) and Chip Ganassi Racing (Sage Karam, St. Petersburg) have made driver announcements to fill two of the outstanding seats still left on the Verizon IndyCar Series grid for 2015.

This leaves just three, and possibly four, remaining full-time seats left on the grid.

While Stefano Coletti has impressed KV Racing Technology and Dale Coyne Racing is perpetually late to the season opener to confirm either of its two cars, the wild card left is Andretti Autosport’s fourth car, which at the moment is the single biggest remaining question mark left among the vacant rides.

Many drivers have been linked to the seat, but none are really “close.”

It’s a question Marco Andretti answered today at INDYCAR Media Day in Indianapolis whether he’d like a fourth to materialize, or, stick to a three-car lineup with teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Carlos Munoz.

“I think financially it would be nice to have a fourth. It’s just really tough right now. I’m sounding like a team owner, it’s not good,” Andretti said, to much laughter.

“But the truth is is that it is. I think it would be good to have a fourth. Look at Penske, they’re stacked. No question about it. They’re going to be pushing each other. If we can get a fourth to push us, there’s no negatives to that.

“We have the personnel to do it in-house, for sure, pretty comfortably.”

Andretti has three Honda-powered cars, while between Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing, those two combined have eight of the Chevrolet-powered cars.

Michael Schumacher’s son to make F1 practice debut at Nurburgring

F1 Mick Schumacher
Joe Portlock - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
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MARANELLO, Italy — Mick Schumacher, son of the legednary seven-time champion, will have an official Formula One drive during an F1 race weekend for the first time next week at the Nurburgring, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari said Tuesday.

Schumacher gets the practice drive in an Alfa Romeo on Oct. 9 on his home track in Germany as a member of Ferrari’s young driver program, taking over Antonio Giovinazzi’s car for the first session of the weekend.

“I am overjoyed to get this chance in free practice,” Schumacher said in a statement. “I’m going to prepare myself well, so that I can do the best possible job for the team and gain some valuable data for the weekend.”

The 21-year-old Schumacher leads the Formula 2 standings after winning races in Monza and Sochi. He won the European Formula 3 championship in 2018 and tested a Ferrari F1 car in Bahrain in April 2019. He also has done demonstration runs in his father’s old cars, most recently this month ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix in a championship-winning 2004 Ferrari.

Michael Schumacher holds the F1 record with 91 victories, which Lewis Hamilton is on the verge of tying.

Ferrari said two other drivers in its academy program will also get practice drives in Formula One.

Callum Ilott, a British driver who is second to Mick Schumacher in F2, will drive an F1 Haas at the Nurburgring on the same day as Schumacher. Russian driver Robert Shwartzman will drive in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Dec. 11, though Ferrari hasn’t said for which team.

The German round was added to the F1 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted the season and will be officially known as the Eifel Grand Prix after a nearby mountain range. The Nurburgring last hosted F1 in 2013.