In late may, two-time world champion Fernando Alonso will join the list of Formula 1 drivers who have tried the forces in “500 miles of Indianapolis”. This year the iconic race of the American series IndyCar will be held for the 101st time. F1i recalls the predecessors of the Spaniard, some of them managed to conquer the “Old Kirpichniy”, but not to others.
In this series riders are those who came to Indianapolis as guests, not participants on a regular schedule as it is now Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato, Max Chilton, or local racers like Mario Andretti and Dan gurney.
The first Formula 1 champion Giuseppe Farina was four times tried to force a “Old Kirpichnaya”, which was then included in the calendar of the world championship. However, the Italian never qualify, and it all ended in tragedy before the race in 1957. If you have any problems to machine settings in the course of the training, Farina asked for help from a teammate Keith Andrews, who left the track on his car and got into a fatal accident. Then Giuseppe completely abandoned the idea once to start.
Like Farina, in 1952, Alberto Ascari came to Indianapolis as a driver of Ferrari, who prepared a special version of the 375 F1 car with a long wheelbase. Easily passed the tests of newcomers, the Italian was 19th in qualifying, driving at an average speed of circle 216,147 km/h.
After 40 laps of the race Ascari was up to eighth place, but then there was a puncture and he had to go the distance.
Alberto was also scheduled to compete next year, but at the last moment Ferrari had declined.
During his last season in Formula 1 in 1958, five-time world champion decided to try his hand at oval. The Argentine has never hidden the desire to be the master race of America, but his experience was limited to only training races.
Maestro has impressed, speeding more than 228 km/h, however due to problems with the handling of the car, which nearly led to the collision with the wall after contact with one of his rivals, he decided to refuse further participation and more on the “Old Kirpichnaya” does not appear.
“Black Jack” four times went to the start of the “Indianapolis 500”, but success is not earned. In the debut in 1961, Brabham finished ninth in the same lap with the winner of the A. J. by Foyt. This finish remained only for the Australian, all three times it went down because of technical problems. But in recent times, in 1970, he managed to record the asset in its one round of the leading.
“Flying Scotsman” was the first Formula 1 driver, won the “500 miles of Indianapolis”. Debuting with the support of Lotus in 1963, Clark immediately qualified fifth and in the race finished second, losing only to Parnelli Jones.
In 1964, Jim, as the current F1 champion, won the pole and carried at the head of the peloton 14 laps, but because of problems with the suspension already descended on the 47th lap.
The following year, Clark returned to the “Old Kirpichniy” driving rear-engined cars of Lotus and gave the opponents no chance. Starting the second, the Scot was procederal a total of 190 of the 200 laps and brought the Europeans first victory in the “500 miles of Indianapolis” for nearly half a century. In 1966 and 1967, the successes he has not achieved, and in less than two months before the start of the race in 1968, Jim died at the F2 stage in Hockenheim. His place in the Lotus took Mike Spence, who subsequently crashed at practice…
The first attempt of the British in 1966, immediately led to success. Starting the 15th, hill escaped the mass Zavala in the first round, which involved ten cars. And after the disappearance of Jackie Stewart for 10 laps before the finish he took the lead and won. Hill is still the sole owner of the so-called Triple crown of Motorsport – he won the Grand Prix of Monaco, “the 24 hours of Le Mans and the 500 miles of Indianapolis”
Winning the race in 1966 was meant for Jackie Stewart. The Scot, making his debut on an oval, qualified 11th and led the peloton in the second half of the race. By the end of the race, his advantage was a circle, but the drop in oil pressure in the engine forced the Stewart Park your car on the roadside. Even so, he became the sixth and deservedly earned the title of “rookie of the year”.
The following season, Stewart returned to “the Old Kirpichniy”, but no success.
The Austrians rarely performed in the most prestigious race of the United States. Jochen twice, in 1967 and 1968, went to the start. In the debut he qualified on the penultimate, 32nd place and fell on the middle of the race due to engine failure. Next year things have Rindt went a little better – the starting field is at 16th position, but the race again had technical problems.
“Bear” four times out on the start of the “Indianapolis 500”. Two the first visit, in 1967 and 1968, were to cheer for him – both times the new Zealander finished fourth. But in the future, neither in 1969 nor in 1971, Hume checkered flag saw.
Freed from the contract with Ferrari, and using the challenges of his new team Tissot Ensign, Regazzoni behind the wheel of a McLaren-Offenhauser at Indianapolis. But does this experience of the Swiss is not remembered. Start from the last row and the gathering due to technical problems on the 25th lap.
After completing a career in Formula 1 at the end of 1991, Peak has decided to scale new heights, despite warnings about the dangers of racing on ovals. The first experience almost ended in tragedy – on training before the race in 1992, the Brazilian got into a serious accident in which he sustained a fracture of both legs.
Recovered, three-time world champion returned to the Indianapolis after a year and was quite competitive, but retired after 38 laps after the start.
Not every retired racer after a few years of retirement will dare to take this step, as the debut at the oval, especially in a race like this as “500 miles of Indianapolis”. But Jean Alesi at the age of 47 years decided. Yes, nothing of this plan did not work – and not least because absolutely uncompetitive Lotus engine. During all races, the Frenchman invariably last, but at least he was able to qualify. In the race, as his partner at the command of Simon de Silvestro, Alesi held only ten rounds and withdrew from the race due to insufficient speed of the machine.
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