Mikhail Aleshin, who competed for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 17 races during the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series season and the 2015 series finale, will rejoin the team for the 2016 season.

Aleshin, 28, of Moscow, qualified 14th and finished 10th at Sonoma Raceway in August – his first race in the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports-prepared Honda with the road/street course aerodynamic package since a practice crash curtailed his 2014 season.

“I’m very happy about the agreement between Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and the SMP Racing Russian driver development program,” said Aleshin, who will drive the No. 7 Honda. “I had an unbelievable experience with IndyCar in 2014 and I can’t wait to be back in this great series. I’m very motivated and 100 percent ready to win.”

In his first Indy car racing season in 2014, Aleshin recorded a best finish of second at Houston-2 among seven top-10 finishes. He led laps in three races. Aleshin qualified eighth for the season finale at Auto Club Speedway, but he did not start the race because of injuries sustained in a crash in the final practice session.

Aleshin, the first Russian driver to race in the Verizon IndyCar Series, spent the 2015 season competing for SMP Racing in the European LeMans Series and the final race of the FIA World Endurance Championship. He competed in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2010-13 and won the 2010 championship.

Team co-owner Sam Schmidt said he looks forward to having Aleshin back for a second season.

“He was extremely fast in 2014 and we think, given that year of experience and last year competing in ELMS, he will be able to contribute significantly to the program in 2016,” Schmidt said.

James Hinchcliffe, a race winner in his first season with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2015, also returns to the No. 5 Honda for the upcoming 16-race season.