After two days of testing at Phoenix International Raceway, here is what IndyCar drivers have to say: 

“Overall, it’s really great to be back in the car. We spent some time at Phoenix working in a few different directions, and you can’t take too much away from the times because the whole field is working on different things. The hhgregg boys looked good on practice stops, Bryan (Herta) and I are getting along great and we’re learning some things about the car. Not a bad start to the season so far.”

— Marco Andretti, No. 27 hhgregg Honda

“It’s been a very good test, very good start with Andretti Autosport. My first official test with the team. Everything was smooth and the car worked well. We learned a lot and we still need to come back here, there is a lot of work to be done. The amount of data the four cars get makes me so excited to work with the team. I am very happy.”

— Takuma Sato, No. 26 Andretti Autosport Honda

“We’re just learning about how the new Honda engine and aero kit reacts to changes and working through race and qualifying setups. 

We did a little bit of race work yesterday during the day and then trimmed some down to get closer to a qualifying setup last night. We spent the afternoon of Day Two doing some qualifying work just trimming downforce out and trying to get the drag out of it. We need to see how the car reacts in both speed and what we need to do on the engine side, but also the balance of the car and any adjustments we need to make before we come back on the race weekend. The plan is to do some race work and maybe even some full tank runs and see how the car does on a full tank and how it runs in traffic. 

There’s so much we have to learn, so we’re just trying to get as much information as possible before we come back during the season.”

— Charlie Kimball, No. 83 Tresiba Honda

“I think we improved the ABC Supply Chevrolet quite a lot from yesterday, especially balance-wise with car. We have more work to do but we’re getting there. It’s our first time with this aero kit so it’s a learning process. I’m happy with the gains we made overnight.”

— Carlos Munoz, No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda

“We came here with a pretty comprehensive test plan and shockingly we’ve been able to stick to it. When you get on track and everybody’s around, it’s easy to get away from that plan. We really have work to do to make sure we’re in the best position when we come back here to race. We’re making progress on the car which is the number one thing. As we go through our test list, we’re knocking off items on the list that are really helping. Hoping we have more of that improvement tonight as well.””

— James Hinchcliffe, No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda

“Overall it’s been a good couple of days. The first session yesterday went really well but I struggled a little bit more in the night session when we were simulating race running.

It was my first time running like that so it was a lot to take in. We were also practicing pit stops without laps and in laps. We knew it was going to be hard but I guess that it’s just part of the learning process and I’ll be better next time.

I feel comfortable in the car. I also think a lot of the guys went on low trim runs as well so that’s why they did so many quick times. We left it on high downforce the whole time making it hard to compare. I have some catching up to do on that side because I haven’t had that experience before but it’s all part of the learning curve.”

— Ed Jones, No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda

Written by Nicole Ellan James