Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced tonight the departure of Mikhail Aleshin with immediate affect.

The Verizon IndyCar Series team released the following statement:

Mikhail Aleshin, the Russian SMP Racing program driver, will not be returning to the No.7 Honda for the remainder of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and SMP Racing have mutually agreed that the Russian driver will focus on the design and development of the new BR1 LMP 1 car.

Aleshin is the key SMP Racing driver working on the new LMP1 Prototype BR1 which shall be ready for it’s first test session in the near future. Designed by Russian company BR Engineering in cooperation with Dallara, the BR1 of SMP Racing team will debut in FIA World Endurance Championship in 2018.

It is not yet known who will replace Aleshin as James Hinchcliffe’s team mate for the rest of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season starting with next weekend’s ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway.

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