Ex-Formula One driver, Jean Alesi, signed a contract with Newman/Haas yesterday to compete in the legendary Indianapolis 500 on 27th May 2012. Doubts had been growing over Alesi’s chance of competing in the race, after one of Lotus’ partners, HVM Racing owner Keith Wiggins, saying the money isn’t there to support an extra seat.
In an interview distributed by the company this afternoon, Ex-F1 driver and Lotus ambassador, Jean Alesi, shares his views on Kimi Raikkonen’s return to Forumla One driving for Lotus Renault GP.
The 96th Indy 500 scheduled to run on 27 May 2012 will see the return to competitive racing of one of F1’s most admired drivers. Jean Alesi, who joined Group Lotus as a brand ambassador earlier this year will tackle his first competitive oval race, 10 years after he hung up his helmet from Formula One.
If you’ve ever been to the Lotus test track at Hethel you’ll remember it as a challenging track – bumpy, off camber in places with minimal run-off. Lotus chassis engineers can describe every undulation and surface change, and have clocked up thousands of miles developing the class-leading handling traits of cars such as the Exige, 2 Eleven and Evora.
Last week Lotus announced former F1 driver Jean Alesi as a brand ambassador for the Type 125 programme, Lotus’ exclusive ultra high performance F1 inspired customer race-car. Following the Autosport Show, Alesi headed over to Italy to test out the Type 125 in preparation for its wealthy potential buyers.
We couldn’t help smiling at the by-now obligatory picture of the current/past F1 star next to a Lotus Evora – it has become a rite of passage for famous motor racing visitors to Lotus’ Hethel headquarters, although we can’t help wondering why one of the New Era models wasn’t used instead (at least for the photo call).