Andretti working hard for Montoya deal
13 September 2013 – Michael Andretti is still working hard to bring Juan Pablo Montoya to his eponymous IndyCar team for 2014, with America's Racer magazine suggesting that significant progress has been made in finding the budget required to field the Colombian.
Although annual budgets for a team such as Andretti Autosport are estimated at around 7 million dollars, it is believed that the squad is just one sponsor away from finalising a deal with Montoya, who has spent the past eight seasons in NASCAR.
"We're at about 50 percent of what's needed to run Juan," explained John Lopes, Andretti Autosport's Senior Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer. "There's been a lot of interest in him, and with his success in Indy Car racing – winning the 2000 Indianapolis 500, his [seven race] wins in Formula 1, and everything he's done in NASCAR, companies sit up and take notice if you have a chance to work with him."
Andretti's father, Mario, told GPUpdate.net that Montoya would be a "great" addition to the outfit, tipping IndyCar to be a more suitable home for the 1999 CART Champion.
"They've had a lot of contact," said the four-time series Champion. "I think Juan Pablo is looking at every option available to him. I don't know how real the potential to join [Andretti Autosport] is. But I wish him well. If he does then that would be great."
Andretti added: "I think he would be a very welcome addition to the IndyCar field, no question. He's got a solid fan base and I think this will fit him better than NASCAR."
Aside from the ongoing Montoya negotiations, Andretti has confirmed two drivers for the 2014 campaign, with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti remaining onboard.