INDYCAR

Marco Andretti confirmed in No. 98 Andretti-Herta IndyCar entry

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Andretti Autosport and Bryan Herta Autosport have confirmed an extension of their partnership in the Verizon IndyCar Series through the 2018 season, with Marco Andretti stepping into the No. 98 Honda entry.

Andretti and Herta started working together in 2016 upon Alexander Rossi’s arrival in the series, highlighted by a famous victory in the 100th Indianapolis 500.

Rossi continued in the No. 98 Andretti-Herta entry through 2017, taking one race win and two further podium finishes, with the American driver signing a new multi-year deal with Andretti earlier this year.

Herta stepped back from his hands-on involvement in the No. 98 entry to call strategy for Marco Andretti, combining for five top-10 finishes across the course of the season.

Andretti will now transfer over to the No. 98 Andretti-Herta entry for the 2018 season to work closer with the team, while Rossi will move in the opposite direction, racing in the No. 27 Andretti car.

“I’m thrilled to be continuing the partnership with Andretti Autosport. The relationship has worked really well both on and off the track for us and our partners,” Herta said.

“I’m looking forward to moving back onto the No. 98 timing stand with Marco and can’t wait to get the 2018 season started.”

“I’m very much looking forward to being in the Andretti-Herta entry. My goal is to bring the No. 98 another Indy 500 win along with many other victories,” added Andretti.

“Working with Bryan has been refreshing – he is very committed to getting me all the tools I need to get back into victory circle. He believes in my talent and is dedicated to turn that into results.”

The deal confirms a four-car full-season entry for Andretti across the two teams, with Ryan Hunter-Reay and newcomer Zach Veach joining Rossi and Andretti.

Bob Fernley announced as president of McLaren IndyCar

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Bob Fernley will bring his experience as former deputy team principal at Force India F1 to McLaren Racing’s IndyCar effort in 2019.

Fernley will report directly to McLaren Racing’s CEO Zak Brown.

“Heading back to the Brickyard will be a very special experience for me,” Fernley said at IndyCar.com. “I am proud to be leading this McLaren project and team. The 500 is a hell of a challenge and we have incredibly strong competitors to overcome if we’re to be successful. We will need to prepare well for the month of May and that work starts now.”

Fernley’s appointing come of the heels of last week’s announcement that McLaren will create a brand new team to compete in the 2019 Indy 500.

MORE: Fernando Alonso to return to Indy 500 in 2019

For now, Fernley’s responsibility is to create an entry that is capable of allowing two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso to win the Indy 500 in just his second start. But speculation has been widespread that the entry will be a jumping off point for a much broader involvement in IndyCar.

In 2017, Alonso qualified on the middle of row two (fifth), led 27 laps and succumbed to mechanical failure. His effort was impressive enough to be name Rookie of the Year for the Indy 500.

“Bob is a fantastic operator and someone I respect greatly,” Brown said. “His experience and leadership will be essential for us on this project. He is particularly talented at putting effective teams together and extracting maximum performance with finite resources. The Indy 500 is no easy race and Bob’s is a key role, so I’m delighted he’s on board.”