James Hinchcliffe was delighted to be able to talk about his new multi-year race deal with Andretti Autosports to drive the Go Daddy-sponsored #27 car in 2012 and beyond.

"I'm so excited to be driving with the Andretti Autosport team and representing Go Daddy next season," said the 25-year old Canadian driver. "I'm excited to get a chance to work with a company that likes to be a little bit edgy, pushes the boundaries. I've never been an inside-the-box kind of guy."

"We're really excited to have James join," echoed Hinchcliffe's new team owner Michael Andretti. "He's a great personality. I think he's going to be perfect for our team," he said, adding: "We feel like he's going to fit right in. I think he's going to be good with the chemistry of Marco [Andretti] and Ryan [Hunter-Reay.]"

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Getting the right personality was clearly top of the list for the primary sponsors, internet services company Go Daddy, as Michael Andretti was first to admit.

"Obviously Go Daddy had a lot of say in who they wanted to represent their product. They were very high on James right away when we brought up his name," he confirmed. "Personality is going to be important, because they are a little edgy and fun. I think James can be that way."

But Andretti went on to say that all talk of edgy personality aside, what had really sealed the deal was Hinchcliffe's driving ability.

"What caught my eye with him last year was his teammate," said Andretti. "He had a very good teammate. Oriol [Servia] is a very good guy, very fast - many times [Hinch] out-raced him and out-qualified him. That says something. That was a good benchmark for us to look at."

Hinchcliffe admitted that the last few months had been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, with the tragic death of Dan Wheldon, then the success of clinching the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year title, only to find out that his race team Newman/Haas was pulling out of the sport seemingly leaving him without a race seat for the forthcoming season.

"It was a difficult end of 2011 for everybody," he admitted. "Newman/Haas closing their doors the end of December [was] a little bit of a curve ball ... For me I guess when a door closes a window opens, and this incredible opportunity has come up with Andretti Autosport and Go Daddy.

"It's incredible to think: I'm a year and a bit into my IndyCar career and I can already have Newman/Haas and Andretti on my CV. It almost doesn't seem fair!" he added.

Much of the press coverage has focussed on the fact that Hinchcliffe is taking over the Go Daddy car from Danica Patrick, the series' most famous face until her decision to defect to NASCAR Nationwide Series racing in 2012. Even Hinchcliffe has referred to having "big heels to fill," but he's quick to say that he's no replacement for Danica.

"I don't think in any way we're going to say that I'm trying to replace Danica," he said. "What she did and what Go Daddy did with her was so unique and special, they did a good job with it.

"I'm kind of lucky that I'm coming in a bit of a different position being a guy rather than a woman in a male-dominated sport. Now they have a whole other set of opportunities," he continued. "I think there's some cool possibilities for them to work with someone else other than Danica with them. She's obviously still part of their family with her stockcar program."

Hinchcliffe also won't be stepping into the same car number as Danica - the #7 looks set to be rested, with Hinch instead taking the #27 car that was driven last year by Mike Conway - and further back by Dario Franchitti when he raced for Andretti-Green Racing.

"It's because we have #26 and #28," said Andretti. "We've had number #27 anyway. So we're just going to keep it in the family, #26, #27, #28. There's no other story other than that. The #7 really didn't have any real significance to our team in any way."

Andretti added that there was still a chance that his team would field a fourth car, as it had in 2011: "Chances are I'd say 60% to 70% at the moment. Definitely better than 50-50. Hopefully we'll have something done in two or three weeks," he said. "It's nice to get the third car done so we can focus on the fourth, trying to get it done."