IndyCar »

Aleshin to IndyCar with SPM

Former World Series by Renault champion Mikhail Aleshin is IndyCar-bound with Schmidt Petersen Motorsport...
Erstwhile F1 hopeful Mikhail Aleshin has been revealed as the latest addition to the 2014 IndyCar Series line-up.

The 26-year old Russian, who most recently competed in the World Series by Renault, has signed to drive Schmidt Peterson Motorsports' second entry as team-mate to Simon Pagenaud next season.

Aleshin, who had been linked to a possible F1 move before being overtaken in the race to be the first Russian in the category by the likes of Vitaly Petrov and, from 2014, Daniil Kvyat, tested with SPM at Sebring International Raceway earlier this week. The Muscovite tested with both Lotus and Red Bull before sponsorship issues forced him to turn back to the WSbR, which he won – ahead of imminent Red Bull F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo – in 2010.

“[Sebring] was my first test in an IndyCar and things were much different than what I'm used to inside a car,” Aleshin said, “In Europe, there are different standards, but I like [this car] already - it's really fun to drive.

“The last two or three years, I've been looking in this direction and, at one point in the middle of the 2013 season, I decided that I just needed to change something. SMP Racing, my main sponsor, decided it would be a good idea to try something in the US because there are no Russian drivers at this level and, considering the experience I have, we thought it would all come together [in IndyCar].”

Team owner Sam Schmidt's operation is on the rise after a strong 2013 campaign spearheaded by Pagenaud's two wins and third place in the overall standings.

“We are extremely pleased to have Mikhail partnered with Simon for the 2014 season,” Schmidt said, ”He is extremely mature and talented but, like so many up-and-coming drivers in the European system, there just weren't enough opportunities for him to advance to F1. We have already found his driving style to be very similar to Simon's and believe he can contribute immediately to the programme, even as a rookie.”

“I can't wait to see how Mikhail's success in competing against some of the biggest stars of the European racing scene will translate in IndyCar and with our team in particular,” co-owner Ric Peterson added, “We proved in 2013 that we can challenge the biggest teams in our sport and the addition of this young, talented driver will only elevate us further.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Simon Pagenaud leads Scott Dixon through the chicane during the Grand Prix of Baltimore on Sunday September 1 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Mikhail Aleshin - Tech 1 [Pic credit: Renault Sport]
Mikhail Aleshin - Tech 1 [Pic credit: Renault]
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to a third-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud, driver of the #22 PPG Finishes Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his third-place finish Sunday, August 2, 2015, during the Verizon IndyCar Series race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Podium celebrations for Graham Rahal, Justin Wilson and Simon Pagenaud after the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Conor Daly leads at the 2014 Dan Wheldon Memorial kart event   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Simon Pagenaud waits outside his pit stand prior to practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles at the podium during the 2014 INDYCAR Championship Celebration (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud affixes the Verizon P1 Award emblem after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud gets ready for his qualifying run during qualifications for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud with a selfie with girlfriend Hailey after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud with the Verizon P1 Award Green Flag after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud celebrates after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud accepts the Verizon P1 Award after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud affixes the Verizon P1 Award emblem after winning the pole for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud on course during qualifications for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Simon Pagenaud on pit lane prior to qualifications for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.