James Hinchcliffe says he is searching for a full-time 2020 IndyCar race seat despite his 11th-hour split from Arrows McLaren SP which “shocked” the 32-year-old.

With Arrow McLaren SP confirming the signings of Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew for next season, Hinchcliffe has been shuffled out of a drive for 2020 after five years at the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports squad.

In an emotional statement released by Hinchcliffe on social media, the Canadian driver says he will still hunt a 2020 IndyCar drive and despite conceding it’s “very late in the game” he remains determined to continue fighting for his future.

“It goes without saying the happenings of the last 48 hours have been difficult. We were shocked to learn we would not be in the #5 car for the 2020 season,” Hinchcliffe’s statement read. “Obviously it’s very late in the game, but my team is working flat out to try and salvage a full 2020 IndyCar campaign.

“The support from the motorsports community has been overwhelming and is endlessly appreciated. We only get to do what we do because of the fans, and your passion is amazing.

“Disappointment aside, I still have my health, incredible family, friends and fans supporting me, and at the end of the day, there’s not much a little maple syrup and a Leafs game can’t fix.

“We’ve been kicked down before and came back stronger. This is simply our next fight. Challenge accepted.”

Hinchcliffe has been an ever-present figure on the IndyCar grid since the start of the 2016 campaign after recovering from injuries sustained in a practice crash at the Indy 500 in 2015.

The Canadian has stacked up six race wins across his IndyCar career along with a memorable pole position for the 2016 Indy 500.

 

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