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Pagenaud to Andretti? (4th Update)UPDATE #5 This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' with the rumor Hinchcliffe may not stay with Andretti's team.
07/13/14 There continues to be a sense among some drivers that Simon Pagenaud has agreed to join Andretti Autosport for 2015. Pagenaud has twice denied that to The Indy Star newspaper.
06/28/14 I've confirmed that if a Pagenaud-to-Andretti situation comes to fruition, it would be as a fifth car, not at the expense of one of the current drivers. A potential lineup of Ryan Hunter-Reay, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti, Carlos Munoz and Pagenaud could move Andretti Autosport into a class of its own.
As they sit in the championship right now, RHR (third), Simon (fourth), Marco (fifth) and Munoz (sixth) are already offering a glimpse of what 2015 mike look like under Mikey's tent...
What do you think? Should Simon stay with the merry band of overachievers at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, or take his talents to Andretti Land? And if he does depart for Michael's team, who should Schmidt pursue to lead the team in Pagenaud's absence? Marshall Pruett/Racer.com
Michael Andretti has interest in Simon Pagenaud.
In this AP article, Michael Andretti confirms he does have interest in Simon Pagenaud. Andretti was coy as to whether the team would expand to make room for Pagenaud or remain at four cars.
We'll leave this rumor at speculation for now. However, it is clear, that Silly Season 2015 has commenced.
Simon Pagenaud to Andretti? Rumor has it that the very fast Frenchman is coveted by Andretti Autosport.
In light of the rumor below that Simon Pagenaud is speaking with Andretti Autosport about a potential race seat in 2015, we did a little research on the contract status of the current Andretti Autosport drivers.
James Hinchcliffe signed a one-year deal at the end of last season, with a team option for 2015. To our knowledge, the team has yet to exercise Hinchcliffe's option.
Ryan Hunter-Reay was reportedly close to signing an extension with the team earlier this month. However, to our knowledge, Hunter-Reay has yet to finalize a deal with the team for 2015.
In the same link above, you will also see that Michael Andretti has confirmed Carlos Munoz and Marco Andretti are signed for 2015.
If anything, the above would indicate that Andretti and Munoz are locks to be at the team in 2015. One would think that resigning 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner, 2012 series champion, and unquestioned team leader Hunter-Reay would be a priority. Still, at the end of the day, we are left with more questions than answers.
James Hinchcliffe is only signed through 2014. Could the popular Canadian be on the move to make way for Pagenaud?
For example, could Pagenaud's possible arrival make The Mayor of Hinchtown the odd man out? Or, have talks between the team and Hunter-Reay possibly stalled, encouraging Andretti to inquire about the availability of longtime Honda favorite Pagenaud? And what exactly is Honda's role in this? Do they see themselves at a perpetual disadvantage to Chevrolet and their power teams of Ganassi and Honda? Is Honda therefore keen on placing Pagenaud, one of its top drivers, with its top team? Would Andretti even consider expanding to five full-time cars?
Certainly, there are lots of questions surrounding the fact Andretti is looking at Pagenaud. However, it looks like the first shot of Silly Season 2015 has been fired.
06/25/14 Robin Miller reports that Simon Pagenaud is being pursued by Michael Andretti.
He certainly will not be replacing Hunter-Reay or his son. The most likely driver to get replaced would be Munoz because of sponsorship.
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