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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.”

Indy Lights: Askew clinches 2019 title while VeeKay wins Laguna Seca race 1

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MONTEREY, Calif – Rinus VeeKay may have won the first race of the weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday afternoon, but all all eyes post-race were all on the driver who finished the race in the fourth position.

That driver was Oliver Askew, who by simply starting the 30-lap event at the famed road course won the 2019 series title, along with the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that guarantees a minimum of three races next season.

“It’s all sinking in,” Askew told NBC Sports following the race. “I’m really happy to be part of this team. They’re back to back champions now in Indy Lights, and I feel very fortunate to be driving in this car this year.

“This is what we worked for all year. I’m very happy to be in this position and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team.”

With the championship in Askew’s possession from the get-go, the best VeeKay could do for in race 1 was to win in dominant fashion. He went on to do just so.

After starting the race from the pole position, VeeKay led every lap from start to finish en route to his fifth victory of the season.

“We managed the car well and kept the car consistent throughout the whole race,” VeeKay said. “I got a great car from the team so I want to give a big shout out to them for giving me a winning car.”

Behind VeeKay, Portland race 2 winner Toby Sowery finished the race in the second position, while Robert Megennis finished third.

Live streaming coverage of race two of the Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

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