What is the history of Romain Grosjean's new Andretti Autosport IndyCar team?

Jake Nichol September 24, 2021
What is the history of Romain Grosjean's new Andretti Autosport IndyCar team?
Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Romain Grosjean’s switch to Andretti Autosport for the 2022 IndyCar season has been confirmed. The ex-Formula One driver will drive the #28, but what is the history of the Andretti Autosport team he’s joining?

Romain Grosjean to drive for Andretti Autosport in IndyCar

Grosjean has starred in IndyCar at the small Dale Coyne with Rick Ware Racing #51 machine in 2021.

He left F1 at the end of 2020, and rather than retiring opted to race in IndyCar.

He has taken three podiums, including a charging third at Laguna Seca on Sunday and a pole at the Indianapolis road course.

Despite not racing in some of the oval events earlier in the year, Grosjean’s consistent form has him in contention for the IndyCar Rookie of the Year award.

He has 266 points, and is 20 behind leading rookie Scott McLaughlin of Team Penske.

Grosjean will move across to the #28 DHL Andretti Autosport car for 2022 on a full-time basis.

He will race in the Indy 500 – should he qualify.

He replaces 2012 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay at the squad, and will partner Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi and a third entry, currently held by James Hinchcliffe.

“It’s a big honor to be joining such a great team as Andretti, anyone in the motorsport world knows the name Andretti,” said Grosjean.

“I would like also to thank Dale Coyne Racing for giving me the opportunity to join IndyCar.

“I’ve enjoyed the racing so much and it’s given me the change today to be racing with one of the most competitive and best teams in the world.”

What is Andretti Autosport’s IndyCar history?

Andretti Autosport is run by ex-F1 driver, and son of 1978 F1 champion Mario, Michael Andretti.

It first entered CART (a precursor) to today’s IndyCar with a single entry for Jacques Villeneuve in 1994.

Villeneuve finished second in the 1994 Indy 500, and won the squad’s first race at Road America later that year.

A year later, the Canadian won the CART title and the Indy 500 – Andretti’s first successes in both.

Following Villeneuve’s departure to Williams in F1 in 1996, the team continued to score the odd win but didn’t have enough for a title.

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Dario Franchitti finished as runner-up in 1999.

Andretti remained loyal to the CART side of the open-wheel split in the late 1990s.

However, in 2003, Michael Andretti took the team over to what is now IndyCar, full-time.

IndyCar title and Indy 500 successes

In just the squad’s second season in IndyCar – 2004 – Tony Kanaan took the title.

The affable Brazilian had been signed to replace Paul Tracy – who opted to remain on the CART side of the split – which was now branded Champ Car.

A year later, Kanaan finished as runner-up in the standings to British driver Dan Wheldon.

Franchitti would take the 2007 title while Hunter-Reay 2012 crown is the team’s last to date.

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Andretti Autosport CART/IndyCar titles

  • Jacques Villeneuve – 1995
  • Tony Kanaan – 2004
  • Dan Wheldon – 2005
  • Dario Franchitti – 2007
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay – 2012

Lean years for Andretti

Although Andretti has continued to pick up wins in recent years, it has not put together a title winning season since Hunter-Reay.

Its best showing since 2012 was Rossi in the 2018 campaign – where three wins was good enough for runner-up.

In 2021, it has scored two wins, courtesy of rising star Herta.

The son of CART legend Bryan, Herta Jr won at St Petersburg and Laguna Seca.

Indeed, Rossi was the last driver other than Herta to win for Andretti Autosport – at Road America in 2019.

Back in 2017, it was with the Andretti squad that Fernando Alonso first contested the Indy 500.

Fed up of driving around in uncompetitive McLaren-Honda’s that had a tendency to go bang, Alonso was drawn to Indianapolis.

In the race, he was in contention for the victory – when the Honda engine went bang…

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Andretti Autosport Indy 500 wins

  • Jacques Villeneuve – 1995
  • Dan Wheldon – 2005
  • Dario Franchitti – 2007
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay – 2014
  • Alexander Rossi – 2016
  • Takuma Sato – 2017

In total, the team has recorded 90 wins in CART/IndyCar.

Franchitti is the most successful with 18.

Where else does Andretti Autosport race?

As well as the Indy Lights championship – think Formula Two – IndyCar’s F1, Andretti is also active in Formula E.

One of its drivers, Jake Dennis was in contention for the title in the 2020/2021 season, but narrowly lost out to evantual winner Nyck de Vries.

The team which races with BMW powertrains, has recorded seven wins in the electric series.

Antonio Felix da Costa, Alexander Sims, Maximillian Gunther, and Dennis have won for the squad.

Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

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Jake can usually be found writing about or watching anything to do with motorsport – from Formula 1 to NASCAR to British Truck Racing. His work as a motorsport journalist has been published by the likes of Autosport, Motorsport.com and Motorsport News – all highly respected names. Away from racing he is a keen amateur astronomer, podcast listener and enjoys long walks in the park with his three dogs.