De Silvestro open to move into other series amid Formula E uncertainty

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LONDON, UK – Simona de Silvestro is open to a move into another racing series after admitting that she is unsure about her future in Formula E.

De Silvestro joined Andretti Autosport after her deal with Sauber in Formula 1 fell through at the end of 2014, racing in three IndyCar events last season before making her Formula E debut in London.

The Swiss driver was given a full-time seat with Andretti for the second Formula E season, but has only finished in the top 10 on two occasions, scoring just four points. Teammate Robin Frijns has 45 to his name this season.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Formula E season finale in London, de Silvestro conceded that she was unsure what future she had in the series and with Andretti.

“I don’t know. There are a lot of things going on here but also in different series,” de Silvestro said.

“Right now, kind of having our ear a little bit open and see what the future holds for me. We’ll see what happens.

“There are different ways, different series. For me, I have to look at what’s the best opportunity for me, and yeah we’ll see what happens.

“For sure I’d like to be in Formula E, but there are also different series to go racing in.”

De Silvestro spoke warmly of her time with Andretti when asked to sum up racing for the team if London proves to be her final appearance in its colors.

“It was good, especially the time in IndyCar was pretty good. Also this season, I think the end of the season started to go much better,” de Silvestro said.

“I just struggled a bit in the beginning. It was pretty good, but for sure it would have been nice to have some better results throughout the whole year.”

Team boss Michael Andretti said that the team is yet to make a firm decision about its drivers for season two, but said that de Silvestro had struggled to get to grips with the Formula E car.

“These cars are different. You either have the knack for them or you don’t,” Andretti said.

“She was really good in IndyCar, but she’s struggled a little bit on these. I think it’s been a bit frustrating for her, and obviously for us. But it’s great having her on the programme. It was really good having her with the IndyCar programme as well.

“But that’s not to say we wouldn’t do something. We haven’t made our decision 100%. She could end up somewhere else [within the Andretti programme]. It’s always possible.”

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.