Simona de Silvestro

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Simona de Silvestro signs for Nissan in Supercars

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Recent IndyCar and Formula E driver Simona de Silvestro has signed with Nissan in the Australian Supercars series on a three-year deal.

After losing her Formula E seat with Andretti at the end of the all-electric series’ second season, de Silvestro announced in September that she would be moving into Supercars for 2017.

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that the Swiss racer would be linking back up with Nissan Motorsport, having previously raced for the manufacturer at Bathurst.

“I’m really excited to be joining the team, and I can’t wait for next season,” de Silvestro said.

“In joining Nissan Motorsport, I think the biggest thing is being a factory driver. It’s great to have the trust from Nissan Motorsport to give me the chance to drive for them.

“I really enjoyed driving for them at Bathurst, I really enjoyed the car, so there were a lot of things I really liked. And the team as well, it’s a great team, you see there’s a lot of potential in the team.

“So working with them hopefully will bring a lot of success.”

The move marks de Silvestro’s first permanent foray away from single-seaters, having previously raced in IndyCar, Formula E, the Atlantic Championship, Formula BMW and Formula Renault.

“I think it’s going to be a pretty big challenge for me. Like I’ve said before, most of my career has been in open wheel,” de Silvestro said.

“The Nissan Altima was feeling pretty great at Bathurst, so I’m sure at the other tracks I’m going to be able to adapt a lot quicker.

“Learning the tracks and working with the team will be a big challenge but looking forward to it.”

Simona de Silvestro signs up for Supercars full-time

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After expressing interest on her own behalf and after the Virgin Australian Supercars Championship expressed interest in her, Simona de Silvestro will now be in the Australian series full-time starting next year.

The three-year deal was announced on Monday by series chief James Warburton. De Silvestro, who just turned 28 on Sept. 1, will make her comeback starting with the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in October before a full-time bow from 2017. She’ll again run alongside Australian driver Renee Gracie as part of the “Harvey Norman Supergirls” for Nissan Motorsport.

“I had my first taste of driving these cars last year at the Bathurst 1000. It was such an incredible experience and I knew this could be a goal for the future,” she said.

“That this goal became reality so quickly is fantastic and I have to thank James Warburton for believing in me and wanting me in Supercars. This is going to be my first full-time year with a closed top car and there a lot of new things for me to learn and adapt to.”

It’s a big career shift for de Silvestro, and her third international bow in as many years after a chaotic few years.

Her run as a Sauber Formula One test driver ended without her ever having more than a few test days. She then joined up with Andretti Autosport in a partial IndyCar season in 2015, while also competing full-time with the Andretti Formula E team last season. But she struggled in the electric open-wheel championship this season.

Alas, de Silvestro’s four full-time years in IndyCar proved she has talent. But whether the likable Swiss driver will be able to advance up the grid in a tough championship in a discipline relatively unknown to her remains to be seen.

De Silvestro open to Australian Supercars move for 2017

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Recent IndyCar and Formula E driver Simona de Silvestro is open to moving into the Australian Supercars championship full-time in 2017.

De Silvestro was recently dropped by Andretti’s Formula E team following a disappointing season that yielded just two points finishes, making way for Antonio Felix da Costa.

Team boss Michael Andretti told NBC Sports last month that de Silvestro could remain part of the Andretti Autosport fold, but that her future remained uncertain.

De Silvestro made her debut in V8 Supercars at last year’s Bathurst 1000 alongside Renee Gracie, finishing 21st.

After announcing earlier this week that she would be returning to Mount Panorama in 2016 with Gracie, de Silvestro said she would be open to racing in the series full-time next year.

“I think, for me, I’ve had a tough year in Formula E right now and I’m definitely looking at all the options that there is out there,” de Silvestro told supercars.com.

“Supercars – I really enjoyed Bathurst last year, it’s definitely something to look at. There’s the support of Harvey Norman also and the female action is quite important.

“Right now there’s no decisions made, the racing is a lot of fun here and as a race car driver that’s what you look for, and going full tilt all the time.

“So who knows. Maybe. I don’t know yet.”

Supercars CEO James Warburton said the series would do everything in its power to get de Silvestro on board for 2017.

“First and foremost Simona is an incredible driver. The sport is talking about her as the ‘real deal’ having seen what she achieved at Bathurst last year given it was the first time she had ever driven a Supercar,” Warburton said.

“The fact that she is the fastest female on four wheels will inspire a new generation of fans and showcase the potential and possibilities for women in the top tier of motorsport, which is an important ambition and we believe an obligation we have for our series.

“Simona’s achievements of having been Formula 1 test driver, been one of only three females to stand on an IndyCar podium and her achievements in Karting and European Championships absolutely makes her a target for Supercars, quite a remarkable career to consider when she is still only 27.

“Globally Simona has a number of options and people chasing her, all we can do is try and get to the front of the queue.

“And believe me, we are pushing.”

De Silvestro open to move into other series amid Formula E uncertainty

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LONDON, UK – Simona de Silvestro is open to a move into another racing series after admitting that she is unsure about her future in Formula E.

De Silvestro joined Andretti Autosport after her deal with Sauber in Formula 1 fell through at the end of 2014, racing in three IndyCar events last season before making her Formula E debut in London.

The Swiss driver was given a full-time seat with Andretti for the second Formula E season, but has only finished in the top 10 on two occasions, scoring just four points. Teammate Robin Frijns has 45 to his name this season.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Formula E season finale in London, de Silvestro conceded that she was unsure what future she had in the series and with Andretti.

“I don’t know. There are a lot of things going on here but also in different series,” de Silvestro said.

“Right now, kind of having our ear a little bit open and see what the future holds for me. We’ll see what happens.

“There are different ways, different series. For me, I have to look at what’s the best opportunity for me, and yeah we’ll see what happens.

“For sure I’d like to be in Formula E, but there are also different series to go racing in.”

De Silvestro spoke warmly of her time with Andretti when asked to sum up racing for the team if London proves to be her final appearance in its colors.

“It was good, especially the time in IndyCar was pretty good. Also this season, I think the end of the season started to go much better,” de Silvestro said.

“I just struggled a bit in the beginning. It was pretty good, but for sure it would have been nice to have some better results throughout the whole year.”

Team boss Michael Andretti said that the team is yet to make a firm decision about its drivers for season two, but said that de Silvestro had struggled to get to grips with the Formula E car.

“These cars are different. You either have the knack for them or you don’t,” Andretti said.

“She was really good in IndyCar, but she’s struggled a little bit on these. I think it’s been a bit frustrating for her, and obviously for us. But it’s great having her on the programme. It was really good having her with the IndyCar programme as well.

“But that’s not to say we wouldn’t do something. We haven’t made our decision 100%. She could end up somewhere else [within the Andretti programme]. It’s always possible.”

De Silvestro: ‘Strange’ to miss Indy 500, but Formula E remains focus

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BERLIN, Germany – Simona de Silvestro says that it feels strange not to be racing in this year’s Indianapolis 500, but remains fully focused on her Formula E commitments with Andretti.

De Silvestro joined Andretti in 2015, taking part in three IndyCar races before being signed to its Formula E operation full-time from the London ePrix last June.

The Swiss racer became the first woman to score points in Formula E at the Long Beach ePrix in March, but confirmed earlier this year that she would not be entering the 100th running of the 500 in part due to a clash between qualifying and the Berlin ePrix.

Speaking in Berlin, de Silvestro conceded that it felt strange to see proceedings kick off at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 500 and not be there to take part, with 2016’s edition being just the second she has missed since 2010.

“Well I did feel a little strange when they started practicing on Monday because I’ve been used to doing all that,” de Silvestro told NBC Sports.

“For sure, it’s always really special and you want to be part of it if you can. Right now, I’m here in Berlin, maybe I’ll get to go and see it next weekend and watch it.

“It’s always hard when you’re watching and not driving.”

Formula E very much remains the focus for de Silvestro, with budgetary constraints limiting her chances in IndyCar for the time being.

“Formula E is still the focus. IndyCar at the moment is really difficult because a lot depends on budget,” she said.

“Being realistic, finding money at this time of the year is really difficult. We never know what happens next year or anything like that but no, we’re always working on all the options that are out there.”

De Silvestro confirmed that she is yet to firm up any plans for the third Formula E season, which is due to start on October 9 in Hong Kong.

“Nothing yet. Right now, we’ll go to London, maybe talk to some people and see what happens,” de Silvestro said.

“There’s nothing really set right now.”