|If Wickens can buy a seat in IndyCar he will have a ride|
UPDATE Robert Wickens is still uncertain which series he will race in next season, as he explores opportunities in preparation for when Mercedes-Benz pulls out of DTM at the end of 2018.
Wickens, who finished third and first in the two DTM rounds at Nurburgring this weekend, is the second highest Mercedes driver in the championship, and lies ninth. However, the withdrawal of Mercedes and the subsequent question marks hanging over the series, have prompted him to look at other options.
Notably, he has expressed a strong desire to race in the Verizon IndyCar Series, and has not only performed a ride-swap with Canadian compatriot James Hinchcliffe this year, but also subbed for Mikhail Aleshin in the other Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-Honda on the first day at Road America.
Yesterday Sam Schmidt told Motorsport.com that Wickens remains on his list of possible candidates for the #7 SPM entry in 2018.
Wickens, asked about remaining in DTM, told Motorsport.com Germany: “We’re taking it one day at a time. I’m obviously looking at options to see what’s going on, because to be frank, I can never really trust other people fully.
“I know that motorsport can change quickly and I don’t want to sit back and maybe miss an opportunity. So I’m definitely seeking options, but if I end up in DTM again next year, I’m going to have the biggest smile on my face.
"If I end up somewhere else it’s going to be a new challenge and a new experience. But I’ll deal with that when it happens."
"We're seeing more interest from Europe, with manufacturers shutting down programs in the DTM and WEC, and we put together a list of 28 drivers for the evaluation process about two weeks ago," team co-owner Sam Schmidt told RACER. "And now that we have decent resources for one and a half cars. We don't have full funding for the second car at this point, but we'll look to get the rest of the way there."
08/21/17 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. Jack Harvey will drive the #7 the last two races of the year.
Robert Wickens put out a mystery tweet saying he likes Watkins Glen and Sonoma – the last two races on the IndyCar schedule. Wickens drives full-time for Mercedes in DTM but wants to land an IndyCar ride in 2018.
Looking at the DTM schedule, there is no race conflict with either Watkins Glen and Sonoma and SPM is looking to find a replacement driver for Mikhail Aleshin who ran out of money and could no longer write checks to SPM to buy his ride.
Rumor has it that Wickens will drive in place of Aleshin at both The Glen and Sonoma.
Wickens is a very talented open wheel driver but never had the money to buy an open wheel seat so he races DTM where he is paid handsomely. However, Mercedes is quitting DTM after 2018 so Wickens needs to find an alternate series to race in and he is targeting IndyCar.
"Testing an Indy car during the offseason with James [Hinchcliffe] for that promotional swap really caught my interest, and I don't think I've missed watching a race all season," Wickens said. "The IndyCar championship is looking good and I think a lot of drivers are looking to what their future may hold. After 2018, there are a lot of questions that need answering, and it could be IndyCar."
With WEC LMP1 near death and DTM hurting from manufacturers moving to Formula E, Wickens won't be the last driver eyeing IndyCar.