The Verizon IndyCar Series silly season is down to, in all likelihood, four full-time remaining seats left to fill. Those four are the fourth car at Andretti Autosport, the second car at KV Racing Technology and the two cars at Dale Coyne Racing.
But there are still plenty of drivers on the outside looking in, or with their plans yet to be confirmed, for IndyCar and the rest of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder before the March 29 St. Petersburg opener. Here’s a look at who’s left standing, beyond what we wrote last winter:
- Justin Wilson: Widely linked to Andretti’s fourth seat, but still in a waiting game on budget. The later the offseason gets, and the closer the St. Petersburg opener approaches, it becomes more dangerous as to whether the driver known as “Bad ass” will be back for a 12th season in IndyCar.
- Ryan Briscoe: Unlikely to land a full-time opportunity, Briscoe’s best odds may be for an Indianapolis 500-only seat alongside his Corvette Racing commitments at Sebring and Le Mans.
- Carlos Huertas, Sebastian Saavedra: The pair of Colombians finalized late deals last offseason, and would need to be in a position to do likewise if they are to return for their second and fourth full-time seasons, respectively.
- Simona de Silvestro: Reportedly making waves about an IndyCar comeback, and has IndyCar photos linked to her social media pages, but thus far not publicly confirmed to one of the remaining seats.
- Oriol Servia, JR Hildebrand: Two former teammates but not on the brink of anytime full-time. Outside of 2010, Servia’s been on an IndyCar grid every year since 2000. Hildebrand’s best shot was at CFH Racing, but that road/street course slot went to Luca Filippi.
- Conor Daly, Alexander Rossi: Daly was the “people’s pick” for the SPM second car that has now gone to James Jakes, but now in an utter predicament, career-wise. Focused on IndyCar after parts of four years in Europe, but it might be too late on either side of the pond for anything decent full-time, now. Rossi is in a similar predicament; he was shown to have a seat fitting at Dale Coyne Racing toward the end of 2014, but hasn’t had additional news follow.
- The rest of the testers: Right now Stefano Coletti, Davide Valsecchi, Rodolfo Gonzalez, Rocky Moran Jr. and Daniel Abt all have one thing in common: they’ve all tested at least once this offseason and could well be in the frame for the remaining seats. Coletti and Gonzalez appear closer to seats than the other three at the moment.
- Zach Veach, A.N. Other: Veach is another of several linked to the vacant Andretti seat. Every year there always seems to be at least one surprise driver nominated who shows up late in the game, usually in the second Dale Coyne Racing car, so it would be weird to expect anything different this year.
Also of note, talented young drivers Sage Karam and Scott Hargrove are only confirmed for St. Petersburg in their respective No. 8 cars in both IndyCar and Indy Lights. Karam will make his Chip Ganassi Racing IndyCar debut (second overall start), while Hargrove will be behind the wheel of 8Star Motorsports’ chassis for both the driver and team’s Indy Lights debut.
Talented prospect and past Pro Mazda/USF2000 champion Matthew Brabham, who raced in Indy Lights with Andretti Autosport last year, also is yet to have his program finalized for this season.