Mikhail Aleshin has revealed that it was a tough decision to choose to remain with the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team after admitting talks took place with Carlin about joining them in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2017.
Aleshin raced previously for Carlin in 2010 and 2011, with the Russian taking the Formula Renault 3.5 Series title in the first year of their partnership, and had he agreed to rejoin the team in 2017, it would have meant Carlin stepping up into IndyCar for the first time.
However, in the negotiations that took place between Aleshin and the two respective teams, it was clear from their actions that he should remain with Schmidt Peterson Motorsport for another season.
“The negotiations were very tough and it was very difficult to choose,” said Aleshin to Motorsport.com. “But finally we signed a very good contract.
“There were so many factors, difficult to name them all. The financial question wasn’t the main one, I can tell you that much, because the team made us a great offer. Like, for example, there was the question of how I’d combine this with working on the [SMP-run Dallara] sport prototype, because it’s a big job. But then we realized it was possible to do.
“Of course, myself and Carlin have many great memories together. It’s a great team, I love them a lot, respect them, value them and so on – but it didn’t work out for various reasons. And actually the Schmidt team wanted to work with us a lot more – and demonstrated that, with not just words but actions.”
Twenty-nine-year-old Aleshin has not ruled out joining Carlin in the future however, and revealed that he still has a great relationship with team owner Trevor Carlin.
“We won’t rule out anything: I’ve got a close relationship with Trevor, he has achieved incredible results in motorsport and I am not going to say that a future partnership is impossible,” said Aleshin.
“Just now, the way it turned out, we decided to sign a deal with Sam’s team.”