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2024 IndyCar Silly Season Thread


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#1 red stick

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 01:18

Grosjean, Ericsson, Rosenqvist, DeFrancesco, Castroneves, Pagenaud, Rahal, and Harvey are in the last year of their contracts.  Marshall Pruett sizes up the possibilities.

 

https://racer.com/20...ar-free-agents/



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#2 JBJ

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 08:30

Grosjean, Ericsson, Rosenqvist, DeFrancesco, Castroneves, Pagenaud, Rahal, and Harvey are in the last year of their contracts.  Marshall Pruett sizes up the possibilities.

 

https://racer.com/20...ar-free-agents/

Daly still around after this year ?



#3 SenorSjon

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 08:55

Daly still around after this year ?

 

Probably. I expected him gone 2 years ago.



#4 krapmeister

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 08:58

If he is still tied to the Bitnile funding then yes, without the Bitnile funding - or another sponsor - then I struggle to see any teams that would be keen on him based on performance alone...

#5 Risil

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 09:04

Pruett believes Ilott, who may need to be bought out of his contract, is the hot property in the paddock right now.

 

Interesting story too that Marcus Ericsson's long-term backer Finn Rausing isn't going to be writing the cheques after this season. 



#6 LolaB0860

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 09:06

Daly still around after this year ?


I had forgotten he's on this year's grid...

#7 jonpollak

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 09:54

Pruett believes Ilott, who may need to be bought out of his contract, is the hot property in the paddock right now.

 

Interesting story too that Marcus Ericsson's long-term backer Finn Rausing isn't going to be writing the cheques after this season. 

I'm guessing Chip will put his best people on that.

Jp



#8 Anja

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 10:26

Interesting story too that Marcus Ericsson's long-term backer Finn Rausing isn't going to be writing the cheques after this season. 

 

It's an interesting twist but I think Chip will do his best to keep Ericsson on board regardless. It just works too well for both parties at the moment.


Edited by Anja, 05 May 2023 - 10:27.


#9 Risil

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 10:28

Yeah, sensible move for Chip to keep Ericsson in the team. Unless he can find some sponsorship though (maybe Huski Chocolate can up their game??   ;) ) Ericsson would have to take over Palou's (presumptive) seat and another pay driver would move in.

 

Indycar Silly Season is a complex game.



#10 SenorSjon

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 10:39

I had forgotten he's on this year's grid...

 

He's rear gunner. I don't think it is helping the team in any way. They have a lot of difficulty this year setting up the car properly. Usually, they find something around the warm up, but in Alabama, they went backwards with the fuel saving strat.



#11 Myrvold

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 11:02

Yeah, sensible move for Chip to keep Ericsson in the team. Unless he can find some sponsorship though (maybe Huski Chocolate can up their game??  ;) ) Ericsson would have to take over Palou's (presumptive) seat and another pay driver would move in.

Indycar Silly Season is a complex game.


Huski isnt Rausing. However, Huski is Swiss-Swedes etc. and there are some kind of connection. Especially if Rausing is financing this still, and the car is so Huski-sponsored that the car is entered as Huski Chip Ganassi.

#12 Myrvold

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 11:11

I do however love the IndyCar silly seasons and IndyCar Silly 500 Season.

 

Much doesn't actually happen, but all the talk, the rumours, the optimism, the people who want to try and genuinely have a shot if they can line things up. It's very much how F1 used to be, it's really how motorsport should be.



#13 Risil

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 11:47

I'd like to see Ilott land an elite drive, but I'd like him to score a big result for Juncos first, as I think with the right circumstances they are capable.



#14 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 12:42

If Ericsson doesn't have funding, who does to give him a ride?

 

If the Ericsson car becomes a 'sign on merit not money', Ericsson has competition. If it stays a subcontractor-mobile welcome to DeFrancesco Lols.

 

Rahal drives his last race at RLL so he's in that car until a TBD season. He doesn't move, we've seen how he does at other teams, we know his ceiling at this point.

 

MSR drivers seemingly aren't the issue. Maybe Blomqvist or Illot or whomever brings a little something extra to that team but it's a few positions up the grid not the great leap forward they need. 

 

As each driver moves out of an eligibility tier the calculus on their options completely change. eg Ericsson with HuskiBoi money has a CGR ride and wins occasionally and is a sleeper championship contender. Without money his offered rides are....replacing Harvey at RLL? MSR? I'd be looking for backers to stay in the good car...

 

I think generally speaking the silly season isn't led by who is available and their pecking order but

 

1.  Who has open, funded rides. Uh, RLL? MSR? 

 

Once those are filled people move down to, and are re-seeded for

 

2. Who has a seat with some tweaks(a new sponsor, an extra sponsor, a oval-road shared deal, etc) CGR? Bitnile stays with ECR if they can get 500 winner Ericsson, that sorta thing

 

2b. Who has a seat with expansion, basically McLaren's 4th car. And I think McLaren only go to 4 to accomodate some amazing mid-summer Felix run. But if there's more rumblings about Car 4 as we go along it might be a genuine car that anyone is a contender for.

 

3. Ride buys and cobbled together ephemera which we can't predict and won't have announcements for until 2024.

 

Of guys who have to lobby for drives, I think Ericsson is top of the list because 500 Winner Premium is a better pitch to sponsors or something they might want, vs Illot or flavor of the week.

 

I think the signing center of gravity is where Ericsson goes, then where Illot goes, and then it's interchangeable on Rosenqvist, Harvey, etc. It will mostly be deck chair rearranging.



#15 jonpollak

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 13:35

I'm watching to see what happens with Bobby Swarztman.

 

Jp



#16 juicy sushi

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 13:43

I think trying to find enough sponsorship to keep Ericsson in that third CGR car is the right idea, as he definitely fits in very well with the team and is delivering results regardless of pre-conceived expectations.  Don't mess with a good thing.  If you're going to replace Palou, I think that unless Armstrong really shines this year, the choice is between Ilott and Malukus.  Chip generally doesn't like hiring American drivers, but I think Malukus has the Jimmy Vasser vibes (with maybe more talent) that would be worth taking the swing on.  He's also shown that he can be fast everywhere, rather than just road courses.  Strong Palou vibes.  

 

McLaren adding a 4th car and keeping Felix would be nice, but I guess that if they can switch to Ilott it makes some sense.  That being said, chemistry matters, and it's pretty clear that Pato and Felix definitely have some.  With Palou coming in already, and possible hints of that being a bit less harmonious, it's probably better to keep the vibes as positive as possible.  Maybe get a pre-contract on Ilott but let him stay with Juncos for 1 more year while you stabilize everything else.

 

I think MSR should be less concerned about their drivers and more concerned about their continued presence on the grid, since I am not sure they will find a supply of Honda motors in their future, and maybe not a lot of availability from GM either.  That organization is definitely in the dog house.



#17 pacificquay

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 13:52

You’d think an organisation of Ganassi’s size and reach would be able to pull together a sponsorship package for an Indy 500 winner without having to rely on him to bring it 



#18 red stick

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 15:37

To rewind an old observation about McLaren going to three cars, I'm not sure I understand the push to four when they haven't thus far shown they can operate three successfully.  To wit, the "Big Four," based on current championship rank:

 

CGR:  1, 3, 8.

Penske:  4, 6, 7.

Andretti:  5, 9, 10.

McLaren:  2, 14, 15.

 

It's still O'Ward's team.  Rossi and Rosenqvist aren't exactly out in the weeds, but they're currently outpointed by drivers from DCR, JHR, and RLL, nobody's idea of a current elite.  Just sayin.'



#19 red stick

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 15:38

You’d think an organisation of Ganassi’s size and reach would be able to pull together a sponsorship package for an Indy 500 winner without having to rely on him to bring it 

Which is why moving him to the #10 is a prime option.



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#20 jonpollak

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 15:53

I too am on the Little Dave train.

But his family has invested in DCR and as the #1 and sitting high on the Sonny's hog ..... should he leave to go?... I don't know where.. ?

 

Jp



#21 pacificquay

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 16:12

Which is why moving him to the #10 is a prime option.

I’ve seen it described that way, although I’d imagine in practice they’d keep him in number 8 for continuity and swap the entries over, thus putting a driver bringing sponsorship in car 10



#22 FLB

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 16:38

I'm watching to see what happens with Bobby Swarztman.

 

Jp

I think he's headed to Formula E. He tested recently at Berlin.



#23 jonpollak

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 16:58

Jeez, Let’s hope not ….. unless it’s with Mr. Beresford of course.

Jp

#24 Anja

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Posted 05 May 2023 - 17:17

I'm still shocked that he's not doing WEC with Ferrari. Seemed like a sure thing for him once the F1 plan didn't work out. 



#25 jonpollak

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Posted 07 May 2023 - 00:39

I got your silly right here baby..

Enjoy !

 

 

Jp



#26 Dolph

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Posted 07 May 2023 - 02:34

Pruett believes Ilott, who may need to be bought out of his contract, is the hot property in the paddock right now.

Interesting story too that Marcus Ericsson's long-term backer Finn Rausing isn't going to be writing the cheques after this season.


Makes sense. The guys an Indy 500 winner, was leading the championship for quite a while last year and is leading it again this year. Why wouldnt Chip keep him as an actual professional driver!?

#27 William Hunt

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Posted 07 May 2023 - 22:49

I'm still shocked that he's not doing WEC with Ferrari. Seemed like a sure thing for him once the F1 plan didn't work out. 

 

He's making his GT3 debut with AF Corse

https://sportscar365...-with-af-corse/



#28 djparky

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Posted 08 May 2023 - 10:39

I'm watching to see what happens with Bobby Swarztman.

Jp


Yeah good idea, he tested for CGR, he is super fast and another who's stuck on the side lines in a driver development programme

#29 jonpollak

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Posted 08 May 2023 - 11:12

Yeah dj
It’s like waiting for a bus that never comes.

Jp

#30 paulb

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Posted 08 May 2023 - 11:21

Yeah dj
It’s like waiting for a bus that never comes.

Jp

... have mercy!



#31 red stick

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Posted 11 May 2023 - 19:26

RLL to test Toby Sowery.

 

https://racer.com/20...st-rll-indycar/



#32 H0R

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Posted 16 May 2023 - 16:41

Robert Wickens has plans:

https://www.autospor...-year/10470221/

 

Not sure what to think of this. On one hand I admire his determination, on the other hand I think this is a particularly bad idea.


Edited by H0R, 16 May 2023 - 16:44.


#33 Risil

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Posted 16 May 2023 - 16:49

Bryan Herta's comments at the bottom are quite sensible. Regardless of the outcome it looks like an interesting technical project.

 

As a side note it's so painful we never got to see what Wickens would turn into as an Indycar driver. He was so fast in his first year and there looked like much more to come.



#34 Muppetmad

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Posted 16 May 2023 - 17:37

If it's feasible, I'd love to see it happen.



#35 Disgrace

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Posted 16 May 2023 - 17:45

Sponsors should surely want to get all over that, the coverage would be endless.



#36 H0R

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Posted 16 May 2023 - 18:00

Sponsors should surely want to get all over that

 

Insurances probably not so much


Edited by H0R, 16 May 2023 - 18:00.


#37 Jim Thurman

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Posted 16 May 2023 - 22:12

There have been several drivers that used hand controls. Obviously, Zanardi is the most prominent/well-known, but there have been some in U.S. short track oval racing as well, mainly dirt track.



#38 HistoryFan

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Posted 17 May 2023 - 05:32

Robert Wickens has plans:

https://www.autospor...-year/10470221/

 

Not sure what to think of this. On one hand I admire his determination, on the other hand I think this is a particularly bad idea.

 

I would welcome this.

 

But is he right? Was there never a disabled driver in the past?

In F1 we had some – Archie Scott-Brown with one hand, Robert Kubica some years ago and some others.



#39 Collombin

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Posted 17 May 2023 - 07:34

There were a few Indy drivers who had an artificial leg, eg Bill Schindler and Cal Niday.

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#40 SenorSjon

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Posted 17 May 2023 - 08:58

Why is this still called the 2023 silly season and not 2024?



#41 B Squared

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Posted 17 May 2023 - 10:56

Why is this still called the 2023 silly season and not 2024?

It was started with this title, and I wondered the same. Possibly for Jack Harvey trashing and all verbal attempts to get him and others with similar results replaced mid-season?



#42 PayasYouRace

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Posted 17 May 2023 - 16:33

Why is this still called the 2023 silly season and not 2024?

 

Clearly a typo from the OP. Its fixed.



#43 Bloggsworth

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Posted 17 May 2023 - 16:41

Good to see Kathy Legge quickly getting up to speed after long absence.



#44 loki

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Posted 17 May 2023 - 17:21

Why is this still called the 2023 silly season and not 2024?

Marion County is in a different time zone…



#45 red stick

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Posted 17 May 2023 - 17:54

Well, I originally did it to update the yearless Silly Season thread started in 2020 that we just kept adding on to, and I suppose I picked 2023 because that is the year we are in.  Whatevs . . .



#46 Myrvold

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Posted 17 May 2023 - 17:55

They mentioned Ericsson as driver who have brought money to teams, and that he feels like he should now be a paid driver due to good results and the Indy 500 win.

 

Makes me remember EVEN Management in rallying (Andreas Mikkelsen, Pontus Tidemand, Esapekka Lappi, Ole Christian Veiby). They were very consistent in that they could finance and pay for drives in "support" classes, but when it comes to the main class, WRC, then they would not pay for a drive. They could choose to drive for free, but they would never bring money to any team to get a ride. As the moment they became "pay drivers", then they would always be expected to bring money.



#47 SenorSjon

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Posted 17 May 2023 - 17:57

Seeing the parttime drivers it could well have been a 2023 thread. ;)

#48 Jim Thurman

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Posted 18 May 2023 - 18:02

There were a few Indy drivers who had an artificial leg, eg Bill Schindler and Cal Niday.

Also, the original Al Miller. The one who mainly raced pre-WWII.



#49 Rob G

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Posted 19 May 2023 - 00:05

I would welcome this.

 

But is he right? Was there never a disabled driver in the past?

In F1 we had some – Archie Scott-Brown with one hand, Robert Kubica some years ago and some others.

 

Gary Bettenhausen had very little use of his left arm after an accident in 1974, and Mel Kenyon's left hand was basically a stump after his 1965 accident.



#50 FLB

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Posted 19 May 2023 - 00:16

Gary Bettenhausen had very little use of his left arm after an accident in 1974, and Mel Kenyon's left hand was basically a stump after his 1965 accident.

Jim Hurtubise too, after Milwaukee 1964.

 

Oh wow, just found an article from Herk's daughter that his Milwaukee roadster was in the process of being restored in 2022: The 1964 Hurtubise Roadster - SPEED SPORT