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Bernoldi expects to return for Chicago

Enrique Bernoldi, Conquest RacingEnrique Bernoldi is confident that he will be back in the Conquest Racing car for next week's Chicagoland race, having been replaced by Alex Tagliani in Detroit.

The Brazilian withdrew from the Detroit weekend after pain from a finger injury sustained at Sears Point a week ago affected his practice form.

Tagliani, who had been linked to Conquest earlier in the season, was called in at short notice and got his first taste of the IndyCar Dallara-Honda in morning practice today.

Amid suggestions that Tagliani's presence could be the precursor to a longer-term driver change, Bernoldi insisted that he would be back in the cockpit for the final championship round next weekend.

"I'm part of the team," Bernoldi told the IMS Radio Network. "It's just a one-race deal for Tagliani. Next week on the oval, things will be easier for the hand, so I'm sure I'll be there."

He said the decision to switch drivers for the weekend had been made jointly by himself and the team after his difficulties in practice.

"I came here expecting to race," Bernoldi said. "The finger was actually feeling quite okay, but the track has a lot of bumps and with the kick-back from the steering wheel, it was hurting.

"I couldn't drive at 100 per cent. I was quite down from the performance that I could do. So we all decided that maybe it was best for the team that Tagliani drives because maybe I wouldn't be able to finish the race because of my finger.

"I told them that I wasn't 100 per cent. I was honest and said 'I don't think that I'm driving well here because my finger is hurting so much'.

"I've never been that far back and I like street courses, and yesterday I was not able to be on the pace. I didn't want to be there just to make up the numbers and risk damaging my finger even more, so I think it was a wise thing to step back."

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