Photos courtesy of IMS
First the former Formula 1 driver made the move to IndyCar and now another ex-F1 driver will join him for the 2012 Indianapolis 500. Jean Alesi, whose career includes 201 F1 starts, will drive a Lotus-powered Dallara for the Fan Force United team.
For all his Grand Prix experience, Alesi will begin his month at Indy by attending the Rookie Orientation Program at the Speedway on May 10.
Alesi, who is an official Lotus team ambassador, said, "We've been talking about this race for a long time, and trying to find the right team to go. I'm very happy to be joining Fan Force United. Lotus believes it's the right place for me to be, and I trust the team completely and am sure we will do a super job."
"I feel ready for the Indy 500, but also I am very happy to be doing the rookie test. This will give me time to gain confidence and the feeling for the car and the track."
Lotus added, "It's going to be very interesting to see how far natural skill can get him. To date, Jean has never driven an IndyCar and never raced on an oval. However, he has spent many hours on Dallara's state-of-the-art simulator, where he's been honing his technique, getting a handle on differing IndyCar setups, and driving in a variety of conditions."
Fan Force United co-owner Tyce Carlson is a former driver in the Indy Racing League (IRL) and the team has a pair of cars entered in the Speedway's Firestone Indy Lights event, the Freedom 100. One car is for Armaan Ebrahim, the other for Emerson Newton-John, nephew of singer/actress Olivia Newton-John.