IndyCar notes: Simona in Austin, Penske news coming soon

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A few quick IndyCar bits of info gleaned on the ground here in Austin:

  • If it wasn’t official already, Simona de Silvestro is a free agent on the IndyCar driver market. With upcoming tests scheduled for a handful of teams between now and December 19, don’t expect to see the 25-year-old Swiss driver at any of them as she and her management team decide the best course of action.
  • As she sorts out her IndyCar future, she spent some time at the track Thursday with the Sauber F1 Team, and had a photo op with team principal Monisha Kaltenborn and 60 aspiring young engineers, all girls, as part of an “F1 in Schools” promotion. She also met and chatted with team driver Nico Hulkenberg. I’m sure I’m not alone in the hope one day de Silvestro, who’s Swiss, could have a test with the Sauber team. She was thrilled to see the technology of an F1 car, having not been to a Grand Prix in several years.
  • A source told me on Thursday that Penske Racing is due for a primary sponsorship announcement in the coming days, after Nov. 18. The team’s new third driver, Juan Pablo Montoya, will make his final NASCAR start for Chip Ganassi Racing this Sunday in Homestead.