Sam Bird still eyes IndyCar Series (2nd Update) UPDATE #2 With two words "In Indianapolis" followed by a smiley face, Sam Bird may have given away a clue he's looking at a Verizon IndyCar Series seat for 2015.
Bird tweeted this on Tuesday night, and frankly there's no reason for a young driver from across the pond to tweet "In Indianapolis" if there isn't some intention of looking to explore teams.
It would also follow nicely after this tweet from Monday saying he was off to America:
The talented Englishman, who was part of Mercedes' driver development program in F1 that ultimately amounted to a road to nowhere after finishing second in GP2 last year, has since gone onto racing in other disciplines.
He scored the GTE-Am class pole in an AF Corse Ferrari F458 Italia at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, and has also raced in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and FIA Formula E Championship this season.
Bird has made public overtones of wanting an IndyCar seat before, and his name was rumored to be on the list of possible drivers at Chip Ganassi Racing this time last year following Dario Franchitti's medically enforced retirement.
Where could he fit? Schmidt Peterson Motorsports could have an opening at its second car if Mikhail Aleshin either is unable to recover from his injuries/disinterested in returning to the series or his funding falls through.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan and Bryan Herta Autosport are also based in Indianapolis and while RLL will have a full-season effort for Graham Rahal, it did run a second car part-time in eight races this year. Herta seeks a full-season replacement for Jack Hawksworth, who is expected to be confirmed at A.J. Foyt Enterprises later Wednesday.
If not IndyCar, of note, Nissan's new U.S. base for its new LMP1 program is based at Gerry Forsythe's old shop in Indianapolis. So that could be on the radar as well. NBC Motorsportstalk
Sam Bird concluded the 2013 GP2 season with a fine runner-up finish in the championship and quickly set his sights on establishing a career in the Verizon IndyCar Series. With few seats available, the former Mercedes Formula 1 reserve driver shifted his focus to sports cars, landing his first opportunity in America with Starworks Motorsport in the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship, along with racing for the AF Corse Ferrari team at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The 27-year-old Englishman says he remains undeterred by the limited IndyCar openings, and continues to push for a drive in the U.S. zzzz
"I've been speaking to people within the IndyCar family now for a while, a lot of team owners, and it's been something that I've wanted to really explore because I can see myself making a complete move in IndyCar, not just as a one-off season or something short-term," Bird told RACER.
"I really believe that I can forge a very good career in America. I like the lifestyle, I very much enjoy the atmosphere and the paddocks. I think the U.S. motorsport scene is a perfect fit for me, and with so many drivers like Dario Franchitti, Justin Wilson, Mike Conway and other Brits being successful in IndyCar, I know it's absolutely possible for me to do the same." More at racer.com12/11/13 With his recent run to second place in the 2013 GP2 championship for the Russian Time team behind him, England's Sam Bird continues to work on taking the next step in his open-wheel career. As RACER revealed in October, the 26-year-old would like to shift his attention toward America, and specifically, toward the IndyCar Series.
Drawing from five years of experience across GP2 and the Formula 3 Euro Series, Bird hopes his top-tier training in Europe will draw more interest from IndyCar teams.
“It was a good end to the year in GP2, we won the Teams' championship for Russian Time, although I was obviously disappointed not to win the title, but it was still a remarkable season knowing how tough the start was for us,” Bird told RACER.
“I can look back and say it was my strongest year in GP2 and has prepared me to move forward. With Dario Franchitti's seat available at Ganassi, that's clearly the dream opportunity for any driver, and we've spoken with them, of course, but I have to be prepared to earn my way into a seat in America and would not presume anything was going to be offered without a lot of hard work on my part.”
Bird has been mentioned as a possibility at Dale Coyne Racing, among other teams with openings, and is pursuing a chance to introduce himself through an off-season test.
“I would be extremely motivated to race in America, and believe people know the quality of GP2 and how well it prepares drivers for Formula 1,” added Bird, who won five GP2 races in 2013. “But you don't have to follow GP2 to Formula 1, and the prospect of racing In IndyCar is massively exciting to me. We've been speaking with a few teams and I hope to earn a test to give an idea of how well I believe I'd be suited to the cars. If we can make that happen, I'm confident good things would follow.” Racer.com