Sunday, July 14, 2024


Former IndyCar driver Wickens returns to the Formula E test in a single-seater

Robert Wickens says his goal is to return to the “elite level” of motorsport after getting behind the wheel of a single-seater for the primary time since a 2018 IndyCar crash that left him paralyzed.

The Canadian driver accomplished 11 laps behind the wheel of Formula E's Gen3 machine at Portland International Raceway ahead of this weekend's all-electric championship race.

- Advertisement -

The 35-year-old was given the chance after being approached by Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds last yr, as Wickens looks to resume his motorsport profession using hand controls.

The 30-minute session, held Friday afternoon on the American track, marks six years since Wickens' accident at Pocono, where he suffered a severe spinal cord injury that left him paraplegic.

Speaking to ahead of his start and asked if he had ambitions to race in Formula E, Wickens said: “For me it’s not about single-seaters, it’s concerning the elite level of motorsport [that I want to race]whether it's IMSA, whether it's the World Endurance Championship or Formula E.

“I think it's just racing with the best drivers in the world, like I did in IndyCar and DTM before my accident. For me, that's what I need to get back to.”

Robert Wickens drives the Gen3 car

Robert Wickens drives a Gen3 automobile

Photo: Sam Bagnall / Motorsports images

Wickens returned to racing in 2022 within the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Series aboard Bryan Herta Autosport's factory Hyundai TCR machine, having won the category last season.

Speaking after his Formula E appearance, Wickens said: “It was only a few laps but I loved it and it left me wanting so much more. We hope this will lead to greater opportunities in the future and perhaps a test for newcomers.”

Despite never having driven a Formula E automobile before, Wickens got here very near joining the championship when he was offered a drive for the 2018-19 season, just per week after signing an IndyCar contract with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.

He added: “It was an away goal but there was such fierce competition within the paddock that it was difficult to get a foot in goal.

“Fortunately, with the help of Jeff and Formula E, they helped open that door and gave me the opportunity, so now my goal is to pass the novice test and rate on par with any other driver.”

Robert Wickens zips up his racing suit

Robert Wickens zips up his racing suit

Photo: Simon Galloway / Motorsport images

Robert Wickens

Robert Wickens

Photo: Simon Galloway / Motorsports images

Read more