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Andretti optimistic about keeping Rossi, Honda



Alexander Rossi said in Toronto on Sunday that he will make a decision on where he leads in 2020 "before the end of the year."

But, after talking to Michael Andretti, perhaps the most coveted IndyCar free agent remains strong despite the interest of Roger Penske and at least one other important team in the IndyCar paddock.

Andretti, who along with Bryan Herta gave Rossi his first trip to IndyCar in 2016, said last month that his team wanted to stay with the 27-year-old Californian and that the Indy winner in 2016 wanted to stay

When asked on Sunday before the start of the Honda Indy Toronto had progressed in negotiations with Rossi, Andretti was optimistic.

"I think things are getting there, they're not there yet, but we're close, I think it's going in the right direction."

It is believed that Penske wants to sign the former Formula 1 driver who has won seven times since 2016; he was runner-up in the 2018 points positions; and now he is four points behind Josef Newgarden in the 2019 NTT title race.

In addition to confirming that Simon Pagenaud will return next year after he won Indianapolis last May, the Captain never talks about driver changes or renewals until the end of the season. The most successful car owner in the history of IMS and IndyCar told RACER.com earlier this summer that it would only drive four cars in Indianapolis, but that is obviously subject to change if Rossi comes on board.

It was also rumored over the weekend that Sam Schmidt, Rick Peterson and ARROW made a substantial offer for Rossi's services, but Schmidt was not in Toronto and Peterson could not be reached for comment.

It seems increasingly likely that Andretti Autosport will keep Rossi and Honda in 2020. Image of Galstad / LAT

Keeping Rossi is probably Andretti's main focus, although the manufacturer who runs his four-car team is a question that also takes on a lot of importance.

It is believed that Chevrolet is making a move for Andretti Autosport, while Honda desperately wants to cling to one of their flagship teams, which includes Ryan Hunter-Reay and teen sensation Colton Herta and Marco Andretti.

RHR won the title of IndyCar 2012 for Andretti, however, with Chevrolet.

Andretti was asked if there had been any movement in the front of the engine:

"Honda has been excellent, we have had a very good relationship and we hope to be able to put something together." It is getting very close there too. "


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