Alexander Rossi is clearly the cream of the NTT IndyCar Series crop. The 2020 IndyCar season will be his fifth IndyCar campaign, and he’s finished outside of the championship top 10 only once. Will this year be the one in which the Andretti Autosport driver finally catches the Astor Cup? Or will he come up just shy yet again?
Andretti Autosport (5th year)
Third in the 2019 IndyCar championship. Wins at Long Beach and Road America. Runner-up in the 2019 Indianapolis 500, at Dual in Detroit (Race 1) and Texas.
Changes for 2020
The No. 27 Andretti Autosport team experienced no significant changes in 2020, but almost lost their driver. Rossi re-signed with Andretti for 2020 and 2021 in the offseason, though admitted afterward that he came within “hours” of going elsewhere.
Hands up if your car didn’t start yesterday. 🙋🏻♂️🙋♂️😂 pic.twitter.com/V3XTQVje9i
— Alexander Rossi (@AlexanderRossi) June 8, 2020
Strengths in 2020
Alexander Rossi is ridiculously competitive. Whether it’s a road/street course or an oval, he will be running in the front pack at least once during the race (unless it’s the IndyCar iRacing Challenge). That kind of consistency is not a small feat, especially amongst the incredible talent of the NTT IndyCar Series. While Rossi may not win every race, he’s won at least one in each of his last three seasons, and running toward the front will bank him plenty of points in the overall standings.
Rossi has emerged as the best driver on Andretti’s current roster, and his forward momentum should also help his whole team.
Challenges in 2020
Rossi’s biggest hurdle to overcome is one that he’s been battling awhile now: technical issues. They happen to almost every team, but the No. 27 car seems to be hit with them at the worst possible times. Before the season started, Rossi spoke to Frontstretch about the importance of a strong start—and then he had an ECR failure at Texas and couldn’t get going. Between that and being penalized, he ended up finishing 15th out of 24 cars.
He narrowly missed out on his second Indy 500 last year in part due to a bad pit stop. Alexander Rossi can drive like a man possessed, but if his car doesn’t hold up, it’s just going to be holding him back.
Alexander Rossi should be considered a championship contender every year, and the 2020 IndyCar season is no different. He will win at least two races and be competitive during the rest of them—though he’ll continue to fight off technical gremlins on occasion. Until those get resolved, and with the abbreviated season, he may not win the Astor Cup this year but he’ll certainly come close…again.
The 2020 IndyCar season continues on Saturday, July 4 with the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race will air at 12:15 p.m. ET on NBC.