Popular IndyCar racer still wants to return but is concentrating on Amlin Andretti Formula E team.
Simona De Silvestro, who raced in IndyCar for four seasons and made three starts for Andretti Autosport in 2015, says she is very interested in returning to the Verizon IndyCar Series, but is committed to FIA Formula E for now.
The Swiss native told Motorsport.com: “I actually feel just really lucky to have a full season contract in any series! Formula E is my major focus right now, to get this thing heading in the right direction.”
She added: “The good thing about being with Andretti Autosport is that there is also a really strong IndyCar program, but of course it’s really down to sponsorship. It’s my goal to come back full-time to IndyCar but financially it’s really difficult.”
De Silvestro won over American fans with her brave returns from two fiery accidents in IndyCar, and then again as she and HVM Racing struggles against the odds with the weak Lotus-Judd turbo engine of 2012.
In 2013, she took an impressive second place in Houston with KV Racing, but left IndyCar in 2014 to pursue a Formula 1 dream as test driver for Sauber. When that opportunity withered, De Silvestro signed with Andretti Autosport, and impressed at New Orleans last year with a run to fourth place in treacherous conditions.
However, after the Indy 500, she joined the Amlin Andretti Formula E branch of the team for the 2015-’16 season with sponsorship from Swiss electronics firm TE Connectivity. That company is an engineering partner with Andretti for its FE team.
“Formula E is a perfect tie-in for TE,” explained De Silvestro. “TE Connectivity develops sensors and electronics solutions, and Formula E is now more open to other manufacturers this season. So TE and Michael’s team can work together on these cars. That’s great.
“But TE sponsored me at the Indy 500 last year, too, and I felt really lucky to have that sponsorship. Their focus, their effort, is of course on Formula E, but we’re trying maybe to do something at the “500”. There isn’t much to say about that at the moment, but yeah, we’ve talked about doing Indy again.
“Let’s say, if I did come back to IndyCar, that would be the priority race for sure. I’m working quite hard with the team to make it happen.”
De Silvestro dismissed the chances of racing for another IndyCar team this year, despite Dale Coyne Racing having a vacant seat alongside Conor Daly and CFH Racing’s No. 20 being available for all the road/street course races.
“I’m tied to Andretti Autosport,” she confirmed, “but I see that as a good thing, you know? Formula E is definitely very different from IndyCar but it’s been a pretty good opportunity for me.
“Let’s see what happens in the future. You never know what TE or Michael might want to do – maybe there will be more IndyCar races with them. Certainly I would like to do that.”