Robert Wickens is leaving the DTM and will debut in the IndyCar series next year for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Wickens drove for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport in the DTM from 2012 to 2017.
“It’s been the most amazing six years,” said Wickens “ Until this season, I’d never really considered leaving Mercedes or the DTM.”
With the announcement of Mercedes’ departure from the DTM at the end of 2018 and teams in the IndyCar series showing more and more interest in him, the opportunity to move came at exactly the right time.
“But first off, I can’t thank Mercedes enough for the last six years and wish them the best of luck for the future. It’s probably been the best six years of my entire life.” Wickens added “I’ve had a lot of ups and downs on the way but have never had so much support from a team before. It’s been an honor to represent the brand and maybe it’s not the last time.”
In his 84 DTM races, Wickens secured 5 pole positions, 5 fastest laps, 6 wins, 15 podiums and 429 points for Mercedes. His most successful year was the 2016 season, during which he was a title contender until the penultimate weekend in Budapest.
IndyCar series is not completely new to Wickens as he got the chance to test in the IndyCar for the first time at Sebring before the 2017 DTM season began, driving the racing car of fellow Canadian, James Hinchcliffe. Wickens helped Schmidt Peterson Motorsports out by standing in for Mikhail Aleshin during Friday practice at Road America towards the end of June, as the Russian driver was having problems with his entry visa.
“Practice was fun, and the circuit was really great,” said Wickens at the time. “Of course, I wanted to race all weekend, but Aleshin resolved the issues with his visa and arrived at the track on Friday night, so my job was done, but Friday sure was nice.”
Formula racing cars are not new to Wickens, who began his career in various single-seater racing series, became championship runner-up in both Formula 2 and GP3 and won the Formula Renault 3.5 Championship in 2011. He subsequently completed several Formula 1 test drives for Lotus Renault GP and Marussia Virgin Racing and is now returning to his formula racing roots. He will contest his first IndyCar race on March 11th, 2018, at the IndyCar season opener on the streets of St Petersburg, Florida.
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