Jean Alesi has confirmed his intention to return to the Indy 500, 11 years after retiring from Formula 1.
The Grand Prix winner has talked of going to Indy since becoming a development consultant for Lotus, mainly to work on the T125 ultimate track-day car. His deal to race a Lotus-powered IndyCar in the 500 next May was firmed up in September.
“I’m thrilled that Lotus has given me the opportunity to compete in such a worldfamous race,” said Alesi. “It’s going to be a very special experience for me, but I also know that I have a lot of hard work ahead.”
It is not known which team Alesi will race for at the Speedway. Lotus has yet to announce a partnership with any teams to use its new 2.2-litre turbo V6 built by Engine Developments/Judd.
KV Racing Technology, Lotus’s technical partner in IndyCars for the past two seasons, is expected to continue that relationship.
Alesi has continued racing since his final year of F1 with Prost and Jordan. He drove for Mercedes in DTM touring cars from 2002-06 and has since competed in the Middle Eastern Speedcar stock car series and sports cars with the AF Corse Ferrari team.