Hinchcliffe, Palou and Sette Camara on Coyne shortlist

Dale Coyne has confirmed that James Hinchcliffe is on his shortlist of drivers to take the IndyCar seat vacated by Sebastien Bourdais, but said that F2 ace Sergio Sette Camara and Super Formula race winner Alex Palou are also in the running.

Hinchcliffe, Palou and Sette Camara on Coyne shortlist

Hinchcliffe, a six-time IndyCar race winner and 2016 Indy 500 polesitter, found himself dumped by Arrow McLaren SP in October as the team elected to replace he and rookie Marcus Ericsson with the two most recent Indy Lights champions, Patricio O’Ward and Oliver Askew.

Hinchcliffe has stayed quiet on the matter since the shock announcement in late October, tweeting only that he was still aiming for a full-season ride in 2020.

However, while Hinchcliffe’s experience and ability on all types of track in the IndyCar schedule would appear to put him in prime position to replace Bourdais – another off-season casualty – in the #18 Dale Coyne Racing-Honda, Motorsport.com sources believe that Alex Palou is currently at the head of the DCR shortlist.

Asked directly about Palou, who won a race and finished third in Japan’s Super Formula championship this year, Coyne told Motorsport.com: “No, he hasn’t signed yet. We’ll see.

Alex was highly impressive when he tested for us at Mid-Ohio. He was 0.8sec quicker than [ex-Formula 1 racer, current IMSA ace] Felipe Nasr in the Arrow [Schmidt Peterson] car, and Nasr had the advantage of knowing the track. So yeah, Palou did a hell of a job considering everything was new to him.”

Asked if the 22-year-old Spaniard came with Honda backing, Coyne replied: “No, although Honda are really high on him. But actually, that’s the rub: in all honesty, I think they’d like to keep him in Super Formula. It’s Alex who wants to move on.                                                

“So no, it’s not a done deal yet. We’ve looked at about 10 drivers, and we’re down to three or four real quality guys. Palou is one, Hinchcliffe is another, Sette Camara is another, and the fourth one I don’t think you’d guess – and I wouldn’t tell you even if you did!

“Camara did a great job in Abu Dhabi: he won the first race, and when they reversed the [top eight] grid for the sprint race, he came through to third; he’d be strong, I’m sure. But he’s looking at other teams, too, like Carlin.”

Regarding prospective announcements, Coyne replied: “Honestly, we’re really hoping we’ll be able to make one announcement this side of Christmas and it will be everything at once – both drivers and the engineering staff.

“The [Santino] Ferrucci deal looks like it’s coming together and Olivier [Boisson] will be staying on as his race engineer. And it certainly looks like Craig [Hampson] will stay with us [as technical director and race engineer for the #18 car].

shares
comments
Promoted: Leclerc v Newgarden – challenge accepted!

Previous article

Promoted: Leclerc v Newgarden – challenge accepted!

Next article

Promoted: Why Oliver Askew can be IndyCar’s next star rookie

Promoted: Why Oliver Askew can be IndyCar’s next star rookie
Load comments
Colton Herta – America's next racing hero Prime

Colton Herta – America's next racing hero

Last Sunday, Colton Herta demolished his IndyCar opposition in the second round of the season. David Malsher-Lopez explains why Andretti Autosport’s youngest ace bears all the hallmarks of becoming the country’s next homegrown motorsport hero.

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival? Prime

How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021
Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call Prime

Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call

The fight for supremacy in the NTT IndyCar Series will be as intense as ever. David Malsher-Lopez is your guide to the main contenders and six intriguing sub-plots.

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car? Prime

Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car?

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indy car game-changer that won three Indy 500s in six years.

IndyCar
Dec 23, 2020