INDIANAPOLIS — Last month, it was announced that Sebsatien Bourdais would be leaving Dale Coyne Racing. That comes a month after long time engineer Michael Cannon left DCR for Chip Ganassi Racing. Cannon, was the engineer on Santino Ferrucci’s No. 19 Honda this past season.
On Monday, Arrow McLaren SP announced that another engineer from DCR, Craig Hampson, will join the team in the role of Race and R&D Engineer. That’s another big loss from DCR. Hampson’s role begins on Jan. 1 with his new team.
Hampson, comes to the team with more than 25 years of experience. While an engineer, he has reached victory lane more than 30 times, two of which being in the Indianapolis 500, to go along with four Champ Car championships.
“Recruiting someone of Craig’s experience and expertise is an important step for the team as we build towards the next level of competitiveness,” said Managing Director of McLaren SP Taylor Kiel. “He is not only an accomplished and well respected engineer but a strong technical leader who will be a key member of our established team.”
Hampson, is equally excited to be joining his new team too.
“I am very excited to be joining the highly capable group of talented team members that Arrow McLaren SP has already assembled,” Hampson said. “There are people there who I have worked with in the past, plus others who I have previously regarded as formidable competition. I am eager to integrate into the projects, preparation and momentum that they already have underway for the 2020 season.”
Hampson, also notes that he expects a bit of a rebuilding year ahead of him at his new destination. I mean, they have two rookie drivers with minimal Indy Car experience, but with experience together for 2020 and all the resources available at McLaren, he believes a stronger 2021 will be on the horizon.
“This will be a year of growth and learning but I’m confident that this team has the expertise, commercial backing, access to technology and willful ambition that makes it possible to plot a course where in due time we will regularly challenge for race wins, Indy 500 victories and season championships,” Hampson continued.”
For DCR, they also are heading towards a rebuilding year. Since Hampson and Bourdais teamed back up a few years ago, the team that used to be a back marker was no longer one. DCR had closed the gap to the bigger teams up front drastically. Last year, they finally had two formidable cars on the grid and when the season ended, all signs pointed to them being back together for 2020.
Bourdais-Hampson and Ferrucci-Cannon’s tandem for another year could end up making them a contender to put both cars in the top 10 of the final standings. Now, all but Ferrucci will return as we can’t discredit the loss of engineering and talent that DCR has lost.
DCR will surely take a large step back in 2020 and like Arrow McLaren SP, could be competing with each other towards the back of the grid next season.