De Silvestro closes door on 2019 speculation

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De Silvestro closes door on 2019 speculation
Andrew van Leeuwen
By: Andrew van Leeuwen
Oct 22, 2018, 12:51 AM

Simona de Silvestro has confirmed she will stay at Nissan Motorsport for the 2019 Supercars season, following months of fevered speculation over her future.

The Swiss star was heavily linked to a move to Triple Eight for next season, running the third car that will be vacated by Craig Lowndes at the end of this year.

Talks with Triple Eight are understood to have fallen over in the lead-up to the Sandown 500, which created more speculation that she could leave the series altogether and return to Europe or the US.

However she's now confirmed that she'll be staying in both Supercars and the Nissan Motorsport squad, which next year will revert to privateer status.

"I'm here for next year," she told Motorsport.com.

"I have a contract with Nissan Motorsport, so that's the plan, to be with them for next year.

"There wasn't really much going on [elsewhere], it was jus a lot of talk. At the end of the day, this is where I'm at and it's what I'm going to do next year."

The 2019 season will be the last of what was initially a three-year deal with Nissan Motorsport, although she was believed to have been able to exit the agreement had she wanted to thanks to Nissan ending its factory support.

Now committed to staying, de Silvestro says she plans on signing a fresh deal to stay beyond the end of 2019, something that she'll work on next year.

"Yeah hopefully," she said when asked if she wants to sign a new contract somewhere in the series.

"I wouldn't have come to Australia if my plan wasn't to have a long career here. So that's the focus.

"Right now there is one more year on my contract, and then we'll have to start working on something during the year next year. Hopefully I can stay here and keep racing in Supercars."

It's been a tough initiation for de Silvestro in the Aussie series, without a single Top 10 finish in almost two seasons as full-timer.

However she says she's getting more and more comfortable in both Supercars and Australia, in part thanks to a move from Melbourne to the Gold Coast earlier this year.

"It feels much better second time around," he said.

"I think being the second year here it feels more normal. In the first year everything is new and you're kind of always on the back foot. Living here [on the Gold Coast], it's quite nice.

"I'm starting to have a bit of a life outside of racing, which I've been able to build. That's a good thing."

De Silvestro and Rick Kelly are thought to be the only two drivers Nissan has locked in for 2019, with Michael Caruso out of contract and Andre Heimgartner on a single-year deal.

With Nissan's backing coming to an end, and the team committed to its four-car model, the two vacant seats are understood to be up for grabs.

Garry Jacobson and Alex Rullo – who shared with Kelly and de Silvestro during the enduros – have been linked with full-time seats at the team.

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About this article

Series Supercars
Drivers Simona de Silvestro
Teams Nissan Motorsport (Australia)
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
Article type Breaking news