ST. PETERSBURG – Simona de Silvestro had barely more than a day’s worth of testing earlier this week and hasn’t had a proper race weekend since October 2013 at Auto Club Speedway.
But, having completed an 11th hour deal to contest the Verizon IndyCar Series’ season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg with Andretti Autosport, de Silvestro matched that hour in qualifying on Saturday – ending 11th in the team’s No. 25 Honda.
De Silvestro qualified only two tenths off Ryan Hunter-Reay, who ended eighth, and ahead of teammates Marco Andretti and Carlos Munoz. Andretti was 12th and Munoz 14th.
“Yeah 11th is okay for sure. I would have liked to be a little bit more up front, but being back here in IndyCar, it’s definitely been a busy week,” she said, via a team release.
“We just tested a little bit at the beginning of the week, and just getting to work with everybody here at Andretti Autosport has been great. I think to qualify where we are, it’s okay for the race. Hopefully we can improve tomorrow.”
De Silvestro’s St. Petersburg record is a good one, with a fourth (2011) and sixth (2013) to her name at the circuit.
She has a great opportunity with Andretti this week, but this is her only confirmed race for the moment. Justin Wilson was confirmed earlier in the weekend to race the No. 25 Honda at both the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis 500.