Photo from galleryhip.com
In the latest installment of “what’s Michael Andretti thinking?” Switzerland’s own Simona de Silvestro has been named driver of Andretti Autosport’s fourth humpback Honda, at least for the season opener at St. Pete. The Swiss Miss has been desirous of a comeback for months, publicly saying leaving IndyCar and testing in F1 last year was a mistake. Her wish now granted, she’ll test the tri-plane inspired, cheese grater appearing Honda aero kits for the first time on March 16-17 at Barber.
Photo from Honda Performance Development
The talented twenty six year old from Thune has no IndyCar wins through four seasons, though she was on a bit of a hot streak in her last several races. Simona finished second at Houston in 2013 after coming in fifth at Baltimore with KV. Strangely, she then left IndyCar and returned to Europe at the end of the season, but never really fit in with Billionaire Bernie’s fabulous F1.
Image from Indy Race Reviewer
The only woman currently in the series, some detractors view Simona merely as a diversity hire while others see her as Danica without the figure. There’s little doubt she’s capable on the road courses, which to her advantage now make up the majority of the schedule. Burned at Texas, wrecked at Indy and coming back for more she’s repeatedly demonstrated her toughness. Now teaming with Andretti, Simona will also enjoy some of the top equipment in the series as the AA ride is certainly the best she’s had in her IndyCar career.
Photo from Getty Images
In light of her golden new opportunity with a top tier team, the question is can she win? After walking away in 2013, Simona’s receiving a rare second chance in the series. According to reports, it’s what she wanted and now she has it. With the stiff level of competition she faces in IndyCar, realistically Simona’s chances of visiting victory lane aren’t great. But as that Houston race showed in the wild and wacky world of IndyCar, anything can happen. We’ll be watching her progress closely and say welcome back to the series, Simona.