INDIANAPOLIS – When the deal was announced on Friday that Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports had decided to get out of their contract with Honda a year early and join forces with McLaren Racing for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, a lot of people wondered what would happen to James Hinchcliffe. Would the team be interested in keeping him? Could he even stay to begin with?
Well, first off, the team wants him. Hinchcliffe is under contract with them for 2020 and they expect him to be able to return for next season as well. The problem is, Hinchcliffe has a personal deal with Honda too. See, he a spokesperson for them and has held a long time relationship with the manufacturer.
If he drives for McLaren/Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2020, his relationship with Honda is gone. Would he remain loyal to Honda or honor his contract to the team? By the looks of his tweet on Friday, it appears that he will remain in place with where he’s at.
pic.twitter.com/QILg7ngO4b — James Hinchcliffe (@Hinchtown) August 9, 2019
Both Zak Brown and Sam Schmidt spoke on Monday and said that they’d love to have Hinchcliffe back but aren’t sure of his details in his contract with Honda either.
“James has been a great asset to the team for the last five years,” Schmidt said. “He’s a brilliant ambassador for all of our partners.
“It’s one of those unfortunate things, when you do what’s best for the team, but the relationship with Honda Canada and American Honda was direct between James and them, and so we don’t even know — we don’t even know what those details were, what those obligations were.
“We don’t anticipate it having an effect on the final year of his contract as far as we’re concerned, but yeah, we’re excited to have him on our team.”