Crash.Net IndyCar News
De Silvestro signs with KV Racing
30 October 2012
Simona de Silvestro has confirmed that she will be leaving HVM Racing and joining KV Racing Technology, putting her alongside Tony Kanaan in 2013.
“I'm really excited to be joining KV Racing Technology," said the 24-year-old Swiss native on Tuesday afternoon, having already tested with the team at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama on Monday. "It's never easy to make a change like this, but I'm confident that it's the right move for me going forward," she admitted.
"I do want to thank Keith [Wiggins] and HVM Racing for helping me gain a ton of experience these last three years [but] now it's time to move on and look forward to next season," she added. "The other team was like a family, but it was time for a change, and this opportunity made a lot of sense. You have to get used to working with new people, especially when you've been somewhere three years with the same people. But yesterday, it was fun and we had a good test for the first time together."
"We are delighted to announce Simona to KV,” said KV Racing co-owner Jimmy Vasser. “She has shown a lot of determination and to now be able to work with someone as experienced as Kanaan will be a huge asset for her."
"I am very happy to welcome Simona to KV Racing Technology," agreed the team's other principal co-owner, Kevin Kalkhoven. "I have been watching her race for many years and she shows tremendous talent.
"I think we will really see this on the road/street courses and having Tony as a teammate will provide her a wealth of information, so I am excited for what the 2013 season will hold," he added.
It will be the first time that de Silvestro will have had the help and support of having a team mate in IndyCar, after having previously been with the single car outfit HVM Racing since her début in the series in 2010.
"I think it's going to be great having Tony as a teammate," she said. "In my career, I've always been by myself. I think having data and having someone like Tony on the team will really help me. Tony and I get along really well. He has lot of experience knows a lot about the car and racing. Having him as a teammate is really important, and I'm going to learn a lot from him."
De Silvestro also confirmed that she will be taking her sizeable personal sponsorship backing from Entergy Nuclear, AREVA and the Nuclear Clean Air Energy campaign with her from HVM to KV Racing.
“I'm excited for Simona,” said John Herron, the CEO of Entergy Nuclear. “This is the first time she will have a teammate in the IndyCar series and I think Tony Kanaan is going to be a really good one for her. Entergy is looking forward to being part of KV Racing Technology and we're very happy that we will now be working with Chevrolet."
De Silvestro's 2012 season was blighted by the problems that HVM's engine suppliers Lotus were having with their development program, and understandably de Silvestro is looking forward to having the proven Chevrolet package in her DW12 in 2013.
"Even though we struggled last year with our engine, I learned a lot," she insisted.
As part of the new deal bringing di Silvestro to KV Racing in 2013, international industrialist Imran Safiulla will join KV as a team principal having been a committed backer of de Silvetro's career since 2006.
"I would also like to welcome our new co-owner Imran Safiulla to the team and hope we have a successful 2013," said Vasser. The team expects to test again at Texas and Sebring before the end of the year.
Where this leaves HVM Racing is uncertain. Team owner Keith Wiggins confirmed last week that the two teams were in discussion over some form of collaboration for next season.
And with the official announcement referring to de Silvestro's signing at KV as "making the team a two-car entry," it's also not definitively clear whether or not KV will continue to look at adding a third driver to their line-up before the start of the 2013 season. KV ran three cars this years season, with Kanaan joined by EJ Viso and by former F1 driver Rubens Barrichello.
Barrichello has indicated that he has every intention of being back in IndyCar in 2013, but has also hinted in the past that it was unlikely to be back at KV. His long-time Honda connections mean that a link with a top Honda team such as Chip Ganassi's outfit is looking more likely.
Barrichello is currently filling out the remainder of the motorsports year by taking part in the Brazilian Stock Car Championship. Having originally signed only to run in the final round at Interlagos as part of a charity fundraising deal for the Instituto Barrichello Kanaan children's fund, the F1 veteran has since expanded his involvement with two extra rounds added to his itinerary.