James Hinchcliffe’s five-year tenure as a driver for Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson has come to an end. As first revealed by RACER on Monday and confirmed today, Arrow McLaren SP will move forward without the Canadian in 2020 as Patricio O’Ward and Oliver Askew, the 2018 and 2019 Indy Lights champions, respectively, comprise a new youth-oriented lineup.
“James has been a great ambassador for our team, and for the sport, over the last five years,” Schmidt said. “Our history dates back to his early days in Indy Lights and we’ve been on a tremendous journey together. Most impressive was James’s determination to come back after his accident in 2015. I have the utmost respect for James and would like to thank him for his hard work and accomplishments during that period and wish him well in his future endeavors.
“We recognize that James is a fiercely motivated and determined competitor, and we won’t hesitate to release him unconditionally to secure another drive, whether in IndyCar or another series.”
Of interest, the team has chosen to honor the final year of Hinchcliffe’s contract, noting that while he remains a member of the team, it won’t stand in the way of any efforts to find new opportunities elsewhere in the paddock.
“James’ passion for the team has been crucial in our development since he joined us in 2015,” added Peterson. “His perseverance and teamwork led us to three wins and an Indianapolis 500 pole position. James has been a big part of our growth over the last five years and I’d like to personally thank him for everything. On behalf of the entire team, we wish him all the best moving forward.”