Robert Wickens will return to the IndyCar paddock at St. Petersburg this weekend in what will be his first public appearance since suffering spinal injuries in a crash at Pocono last September.
The Canadian is scheduled to participate in the autograph session on Friday at 12:30pm, followed by a meet and greet at the Firestone display in the Fan Village at 10am on Sunday. He laid down a marker at last year’s St Pete race by claiming pole on his series debut, and while a late clash with Alexander Rossi denied him the chance to convert it into a strong race result, he scored his first podium next time out with a second place at Phoenix.
While a timeline for Wickens’ recovery remains open-ended, he has been actively updating fans with his progress in rehabilitation via social media through the winter, culminating in a recent video in which he surprised fiancée Karli Woods by standing up from his wheelchair under his own power.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsport has reserved Wickens’ No.6 car in anticipation of an eventual return to the cockpit, instead allocating its No.7 entry to new arrival Marcus Ericsson for the 2019 season.