Andretti team still hopeful despite bad Friday at Long Beach

Andretti Autosport is encouraged by its rivals’ practice form, following a technical misstep that saw three of its four cars at the bottom of the timesheets in Friday’s second session.

Andretti team still hopeful despite bad Friday at Long Beach
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport Honda
Marco Andretti, Andretti Autosport Honda
Alexander Rossi, Herta - Andretti Autosport Honda
Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport Honda
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda

Although Carlos Munoz was 10th fastest, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Alexander Rossi ended the day in 17th, 18th and 20th.

But Bryan Herta, who runs Rossi's #98 car in partnership with Michael Andretti, said the problems were fixable.

He told Motorsport.com: “In our case with Alex, we crashed in the first session and so fell a little bit behind, just in terms of getting all our planned changes done.

“And then in the second session, as a group we went in the wrong direction, technically. A lot of the setup needs at places like this are about mechanical grip so we’ve done a few geometry changes that we’ll have to look at again now.”

“But that’s one of the nice things about being part of a big team with a lot of data. There’s a lot more opportunity to get it right the next day. Plus Carlos was 10th and only two-tenths out of being in the top four! That’s how incredibly close it is.”

Herta also said that the performance of their Honda-powered rivals – in particular James Hinchcliffe’s Schmidt Peterson Motorsports entry and the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing entry of Graham Rahal – gave cause for hope.

“Seeing them right up there proves it’s possible,” said Herta. “Now we just have to get up front ourselves. And so I think three of our crews need to use the lessons learned on the #26 car [Munoz’s] and then take it a little step further.

“The annoying thing is, that’s what everyone’s doing tonight, and starting from a higher baseline.”

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