Ganassi is likely to pick an experienced replacement for Dario Franchitti next year, although boss Chip Ganassi is open to developing a young driver in another of his IndyCar seats.
Franchitti’s sudden retirement, which was announced on Thursday, has left the Ganassi team with the task of replacing a driver who won four championships and three Indianapolis 500s.
The Scot’s departure also breaks up his potent partnership with Scott Dixon, who will go into 2014 seeking to defend his third drivers’ title.
“We’ve always taken the best driver that’s available at the time,” Ganassi said. “We sort of followed that rule that we learned from a great mentor of all of ours, a guy named Morris Nunn. When you had a driver position available, Morris always said, you need to take the best driver available, and don’t even think about anything else. That will be our first procedure to go through. Once we go through that analysis, you know, we’ll go from there.
“I would love the opportunity to give a young guy a chance. [But] I think there are better places for young people to come into the sport than into that No. 10 car.
“Whoever fills that seat not only has obviously big shoes, if not the biggest shoes, to fill in the sport, but you’re also somebody that has to be a huge teammate and able to help Scott Dixon, as well, and [Tony] Kanaan and Charlie [Kimball]. So it’s not just a single-faceted job to get in that car.
“That car is part of a team that for years has run at the front of the pack, and everything that goes along with running at the front in terms of scoring points for championships and helping teammates win championships.”
Ganassi did not rule out the prospect of moving new arrival Kanaan, who won this year’s Indy 500, into Franchitti’s former seat.
“That’s a team decision,” he said. “That’s not public information. If you were to ask, is he a possibility for the 10 car, I would answer by saying it’s not out of the question.”
Ganassi said that he remains committed to running four cars next year, meaning that even if Kanaan is moved into the No. 10 seat, the team will still recruit an additional driver.