According to the official countdown clock at IndyCar.com we are 37 days away from the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg! If you couldn’t tell from the exclamation mark, I’m excited.
IndyCar was arguably the most exciting series every race weekend, and there is no reason why 2019 couldn’t be better. I’m willing to bet on that statement. Like with the other prediction posts I have written, these are in no particular order and done with heart in hand.
Without further ado, my predictions:
1. Marcus Ericsson and Felix Rosenqvist will show their true racing potential during their rookie year
I think this one is a no brainer. They are both in great equipment, with Ericsson at Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Rosenqvist at Chip Ganassi Racing. Most recently, we have seen Alexander Rossi, and Robert Wickens have success coming from European single-seater experience. Two drivers have no shortage of expertise.
Under the right conditions, a win is possible for either of these two.
A podium for sure.
2. Alexander Rossi will be the 2019 IndyCar Champion
The experience gained, lessons learned, and races won last season will be the base he builds a championship performance. He lacked consistency last season compared to Scott Dixon, but his racecraft improved. His speed seemed second-to-none, and he put the paddock on official notice. Andretti Autosport has been a dominant force in IndyCar, and it’ll be all hands on deck for them to collect their first championship since 2012.
3. Racing at the Circuit of the Americas will open bigger doors for IndyCar
Anytime you add a new track; you attract eyeballs. Add a new track that Formula One also races on and you’ve got eyeballs globally.
IndyCar has been growing its global brand, but can you imagine the spike in popularity if they put on a better show than their European counterparts? Would anyone be surprised if they did?
Maybe they can attract a third manufacturer? Gain outstanding traction for an international series? Steal fans away from the endless bureaucracy that is Formula One? I know that these claims seem like significant leaps into the future, but in the end, isn’t that the ultimate goal for any racing series?
4. Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports will transform into a dominant force
I don’t believe it will be an instantaneous switch for the favorable underdogs, but you will see a gradual increase in performance. This team has been getting better every year. Arrow has signed on as their title sponsor, and I am curious to see what some financial security can do for this small team. I think by seasons end, we will see them blossom into becoming a challenger to the top three of Penske, Andretti, and Ganassi.
5. Alonso announces his commitment to IndyCar and McLaren for 2020
Wishful thinking? I don’t think so.
If your Fernando Alonso, where else are you going to race? McLaren looks poised for a full-time 2020 entry, and they could use a driver whom they trust, is proven, and a winner.
Plus, that Triple Crown. That all so elusive triple crown will escape him again.
Yeah, he’ll race IndyCar full-time in 2020.