Piquet dismisses idea of full-time drive in IndyCar

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DONINGTON PARK – Nelson Piquet Jr. has dismissed the idea of racing full-time in IndyCar in 2016, saying that his focus remains with his duties in FIA Formula E and Red Bull Global Rallycross.

Piquet became the first ever Formula E champion in London in June, clinching the title by a solitary point with the NEXTEV TCR team.

The Brazilian driver has balanced his Formula E duties with a drive in the GRC, but will test an IndyCar with Penske in the young driver running at Sonoma later this week.

Speaking to MotorSportsTalk at the first Formula E pre-season test at Donington Park on Monday, Piquet said how he was relishing the opportunity to test with one of the leading IndyCar teams.

“[Penske] decided to invite me to do a test, and luckily it was on a perfect day because it’s between a test and a race that I have so it worked perfectly,” Piquet said.

“It takes a day to get there, and then I have to fly overnight to get to D.C. to race rallycross so it’s all kind of worked out perfectly.

“I’ve always wanted to test an IndyCar, and not necessarily wanted to race, so it’s going to be a great opportunity to be with the best team and testing with them.”

However, when asked by MotorSportsTalk whether this could lead to a full-time drive in the series in 2016, Piquet dismissed the idea.

“Well I have a three year contract with [Formula E], so there’s no way I can think about IndyCar,” Piquet said.

Piquet has remained with NEXTEV TCR for the second season of Formula E, and said that the car was feeling good following private testing over the winter.

“Yeah it’s feeling good,” he said. It’s hard to say until we get to the first race, but I’m happy. The team did a lot of work in the off season, so it should be good.”

The 2015/2016 FIA Formula E season kicks off in Beijing on October 17.

Andretti ‘getting closer’ to re-signing Alexander Rossi in IndyCar

INDYCAR Photo by Joe Skibinski
INDYCAR Photo by Joe Skibinski
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TORONTO – Team owner Michael Andretti told NBCSports.com that contract negotiations with both Alexander Rossi and Honda Performance Development are progressing positively with hopes of reaching a conclusion “within the next week or two.”

Andretti spoke to NBCSports.com and to NBCN’s Robin Miller Sunday at the Honda Indy Toronto.

“I think things are getting there,” Andretti said. “We’re not there yet, but we’re close. I can’t comment, but I think things are going in the right direction.

“Honda has been great. They’ve been really good to work with. I’m hoping we can put something together there, too. We’ve been part of Honda for so long. I think we are getting real close there.

“I’m hoping to have this resolved in the next week or two.”

Rossi, who is in the final year of his contract, finished third in the race, one position ahead of championship rival Josef Newgarden of Team Penske.

That leaves Rossi just four points behind Newgarden heading into Saturday night’s race at Iowa Speedway.

Rossi’s agent is his father, Pieter.

NBCSports.com spoke to Pieter Rossi before the race, and he also expressed optimism that a deal will be reached soon for his son as the star driver, 27, enters the prime years of his career.

Andretti had separate meetings with Honda Performance Development officials and with Pieter Rossi in the hours leading up to Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto.