Michael Andretti acknowledged Tuesday that the meltdown of his IndyCar team at Mid-Ohio was unacceptable and said his four drivers will be expected to work together as teammates the remainder of the season.
Romain Grosjean and Alexander Rossi played bumper cars in a race for position that turned personal. Rossi also hit rookie teammate Devlin DeFrancesco, Grosjean hit Colton Herta and IndyCar penalized both Rossi and Grosjean for avoidable contact.
“Our race results in Mid-Ohio did not go as planned. Sunday’s display was disappointing and unacceptable and not the way we operate — on or off the track,” Andretti said Tuesday in a statement provided to The Associated Press.
“Racing is a passionate sport and we have four highly competitive drivers; however we are one team at Andretti and our drivers need to remember that we expect them to work together for the betterment of the team. That’s the way it will be going forward.”
Grosjean raced for nearly a decade in Formula One before his time in the series ended in a 2020 crash from which he escaped from the burning wreckage of his car, earning the nickname “The Phoenix.” He switched to IndyCar the next season and overperformed while driving for Dale Coyne Racing, which helped the Frenchman land a better seat at front-runner Andretti Autosport.
Grosjean and Rossi raced against each other five times in F1 in 2015, when Rossi got a handful of starts driving for Manor Marussia. Grosjean finished 13th and Rossi was 14th in Rossi‘s F1 debut. Rossi‘s time in F1 ran out at the end of that season and he‘s been with Andretti since.
The Andretti organization has just one win so far this season — Herta on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway — and Rossi at eighth is the highest-ranked Andretti driver in the standings. Grosjean has one podium finish and is ranked 14th.
The organization also wasn’t all that competitive at the Indy 500, the one race the team owner cares most about winning. Rossi in fifth was the highest-finishing Andretti driver and the three late laps led by Marco Andretti were the only laps that an Andretti car paced the field.
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