De Silvestro opens up on ‘dream’ Penske alliance

Indianapolis 500 competitor Simona De Silvestro reveals what it’s like to work with Team Penske, with whom her Paretta Autosport outfit is affiliated, in the latest edition of her Brick by Brick exclusive column, presented by Chevrolet.

When I was in America and IndyCar for many years, Team Penske was always who you wanted to be associated with.

Roger is just such a legend and his team is always so strong – 18 times they have won the Indy 500!

For Beth to have aligned our Paretta Autosport team with Team Penske is quite cool really.

I always had wanted to come back for another shot at the 500 and what better way to do it? It’s kind of like a dream come true, to be honest.

It’s something I’ve fought for, for a long time, to have the right opportunity with the right people that also want to see you do well and I really feel that this is happening now.

Every season that I did full campaigns in IndyCar, there was a Team Penske driver in the top two in the championship. It’s where you wanted to be.

Having the chance to see the team up close now, it’s just as impressive as you would think.

When I went to their race shop, I was in awe. Everything is perfect.

Their openness has been quite nice too, like they really try to help in any aspect, whether it’s the drivers or the crew. I think that’s what makes this team really, really great.

Simona De Silvestro with Team Penske president Tim Cindric (left). Picture: James Black

I can talk to Will or Scotty or Simon or Josef and we do our prebriefs and debriefs together and stuff like that.

My engineer Raul also comes from Team Penske so from that point of view it’s very close and all the women in our team are getting shown the ropes by the best in the business.

So I think all of us can realise this is an amazing opportunity and if we do things right, we can be pretty good.

For me, even though I’m not starting the race in the best position, this is maybe the best chance I’ve ever had at the 500.

The car pace in race trim has been actually pretty good and it’s quite a mixed up field so hopefully that works in our favour.

Everyone in the team really wants us to do well and that’s something I think that is really important.

Indy always sort of chooses its winner, a bit like the Bathurst 1000 in Australia, but I feel like we are pretty well prepared and everyone involved is pushing really hard.

If we do our homework right, we have the tools to do something pretty great, for sure.

Four sleeps to go now, bring it on!

Sim

Paretta Autosport staff around the #16 Rocket Pro TPO Chevrolet

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