Andretti Autosport team manager on Rossi's dream Indy 500 win

Michael Andretti’s team scored a 1-2 finish in the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500, as rookie Alexander Rossi took an unlikely win. Team manager Rob Edwards told David Malsher how and why it came together.

Andretti Autosport team manager on Rossi's dream Indy 500 win
Alexander Rossi, Herta - Andretti Autosport Honda race winner
Alexander Rossi, Herta - Andretti Autosport Honda race winner
Alexander Rossi, Herta - Andretti Autosport Honda
Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport Honda
Alexander Rossi, Herta - Andretti Autosport Honda race winner
Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport Honda
Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport Honda
Alexander Rossi, Herta - Andretti Autosport Honda

Probably the guy who seemed least likely to win for your team on the day was the one who did come through and win it. But Rossi legitimately got to the front mid-race and he set fastest lap, so he did have pace, too.

Alex did everything right all month, didn’t he? He impressed everyone. And the benefit of being part of a five-car team here at Indy is that he had a lot of people and data to lean on, and he’s a quick learner.

Carlos Munoz looked really unhappy at the end there. Was there any chance of putting him on the same strategy as Alex?

Actually, after what could have been his final stop, we started him on the same strategy, looked at the fuel mileage he was making, and decided we weren’t going to make it.

And then the guys on the #98 stand told us they were going to try. So it seemed silly to have both cars try and stretch it, so we elected to go to the other strategy for Carlos – flat-out but with a last splash of fuel. That way we had both our bases covered.

Could Alex still have won if he’d been on the same strategy as Carlos?

I think it would have been interesting, but Carlos had slightly the upper hand on that strategy.

Have you been impressed with Honda these past couple of weeks?

Absolutely. They’ve stepped up their game massively, and in the early part of the race, they had eight of the top 10 runners. Then after three-quarters of the race, it started to look not quite so good as Ryan and Townsend came together and there were only three Hondas in the top 10.

But when it counted, the Hondas were strong enough. So huge congratulations to all of them. They put a lot of effort in and were rewarded for it.

There must be a lot of satisfaction from a team point of view too, as you’ve been pilloried by many for not even being the best of the Hondas at previous races. Did Andretti Autosport particularly focus on the cars prepared for the Indy 500?

I would say for sure after last year, there was a particular focus on the Speedway, and I think that showed right from when we started running here two weeks ago, and we were competitive.

We’ve struggled at the other races to date but I do think we’re getting a grip on that, and we have some ideas. I think you’ll see us stronger over the next three to four races than we were when we first came here.

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