By: Spencer Neff
January 15, 2021
On Friday afternoon, Marco Andretti announced that he will be scaling back his IndyCar involvement. For the upcoming 2021 season, the third-generation driver will run in the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500, with other potential races to be determined.
“Upon careful thought over the past couple of months, I have made the decision to make some changes to my racing activities and focus for 2021,” Andretti expressed on social media.
In 248 races, Andretti has two wins and six pole positions over the course of his 15 IndyCar seasons. At the Indianapolis 500, Andretti took pole position, his first in over two seasons.
During 2020, his best finish was 10th at the second Iowa race. His last win was also at Iowa, in 2011.
“I recently shared this decision and the changes that I want to make with my Dad and have spoken at length with him about it. I appreciate his openness and for allowing me the flexibility to map out my own course going forward.”
“I am fortunate to be in a position at Andretti Autosport to run the full INDYCAR season if I want to. But, instead, I have decided to change up my direction somewhat – to reset – to do something a little different – look at everything fresh and see where that takes me. And, to me, now seems like the appropriate time to do that.
“I definitely am going to keep driving. I still have a deep passion for it and have unfinished business to take care of and some boxes that I want to check before I consider retiring as a driver.
“First and foremost, I remain very hungry to win the Indy 500. It is our biggest stage and the place that I feel I bring the most to the table as a driver. I’ve come close there and am in the mix there it seems each year. Winning the pole there last year was awesome but that isn’t enough – I know that a victory there is in my future so we’ll try to get that done in the coming years. As such, I have committed to and am looking forward to running the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport this year. In addition to being squarely focused on the Indy 500, I might also take a look at running some other races on the INDYCAR schedule as the season progresses, in order to remain “car fit.” I have also offered to help the team with some testing and other activities along the way. And, I may look at different opportunities in all of motorsports.
“My involvement in my Andretti Autosport entry will continue.”
“I am excited for what the future holds for me both on and off the track and, again, am grateful to Dad and Andretti Autosport for allowing me the freedom to change things around as I’d like and to proceed forward a little differently this upcoming season.”
While Andretti Autosport has confirmed Colton Herta, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Alexander Rossi for 2021, the remainder of the team’s plans have yet to be announced. With Andretti tapped for a one-off at Indy, the remaining two spots at father Michael’s team have yet to be announced.
“Marco and I have discussed this at length,” Michael Andretti, the Chairman and CEO of Andretti Autosport noted.
“I both support and respect his decision to take a focus on other areas of life, and maybe even other forms of motorsport. We were working on a full-season INDYCAR entry for him, but he decided he wanted to take a different direction and I respect him for making that decision.”
“But, like he has said, this is not retirement. He has some great accomplishments behind him and I think he still has many more ahead of him. He’s offered to help us out with some testing, I’m looking forward to having him back with us for the 500, and hopefully maybe a few more races through the season.”
In the announcement, Andretti Autosport confirmed that Marco will be with the team on Tuesday as they begin preseason testing at Sebring International Raceway.
Header Image By Chris Owens/INDYCAR