Ana Beatriz will retain the seat of Dale Coyne Racing’s No. 18 Dallara-Honda at least through the Indianapolis 500. The IZOD IndyCar Series team confirmed the news Wednesday.
Stefan Wilson, younger brother of Justin Wilson, Coyne’s other driver, had tested for the team at IndyCar’s official preseason test at Barber Motorsports Park, site of this weekend’s second round of the season.
Although out of a seat until at least Detroit in June, perhaps later with four oval rounds to follow thereafter, Wilson remained positive.
“Wasn’t able to get things sorted in time for the #HIGPA. Hoping there will be an opportunity to do a few @indycar races later this season,” Stefan Wilson tweeted Wednesday. “Want to wish the best to Ana and the #18 crew and @DaleCoyneRacing and of course @justin_wilson. I’ll be on the timing stand supporting them.”
Beatriz now has her longest consecutive stint in a car since her only full season of competition in 2011. Beatriz started four races in 2010 and two in 2012. She has yet to record a top-10 finish in her IndyCar career of 23 starts, and has two wins in the Firestone Indy Lights Series, where she has finished third in the championship. Her equipment has been less than satisfactory for most of her IndyCar starts.
She raced for the team at the St. Petersburg opener, with a ride share planned between her and Stefan Wilson if the funding on the latter end can be secured.
Carlos Sainz Jr.
Teams: Scuderia Toro Rosso (1-16), Renault (17-20)
Car No.: 33
Best Finish: P4 (Singapore)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Championship Position: 9th
Carlos Sainz Jr. has always been compared to Max Verstappen given their relative rise and stint together at Toro Rosso, but the Spaniard began to forge his own impressive path through 2017, securing himself a works drive with Renault in the process.
Alongside the struggling Daniil Kvyat for much of the season, Sainz led Toro Rosso’s charge, scoring 48 of its 53 points with a string of impressive drives. His headline moment came in Singapore when he matched Verstappen’s best result in Toro Rosso colors by finishing fourth, capitalizing on the start-line crash and the wet weather with a strong display.
Sainz’s displays led to a call from Renault, who announced just two days before his star display in Singapore he would be joining up for 2018 on loan from Red Bull. However, the deal was accelerated after a deal was brokered to secure Jolyon Palmer’s departure, allowing Sainz to join up from the United States GP onwards.
Sainz made an immediate impression, completing a perfect race en route to seventh on debut for Renault to secure six points that would prove crucial in the final constructors’ championship standings as the French team beat Toro Rosso to P6 in the standings at the last race of the year.
Red Bull retains an option on Sainz’s future beyond 2018, making him a candidate for a seat with its senior team should Daniel Ricciardo opt to leave. Failing that, Renault could offer Sainz the platform he needs to continue his rapid rise in F1 and establish himself at the front of the pack for many years to come.
Season High: Finishing fourth in Singapore after dodging the start-line drama.
Season Low: Crashing out in his final Toro Rosso appearance on the first lap at Suzuka.