Lotus has confirmed reports that Jean Alesi's entry in the Indianapolis 500 will be run by Fan Force United, a consortium co-owned by former IRL driver Tyce Carlson, Chris Williams, Jason Peters and Scott Williamson. The crew will also feature veteran IndyCar mechanic Tim Wardrop, team manager Ted Bitting and former IRL team owner Greg Beck.
“We've been talking about this race for a long time, and trying to find the right team to go with. I'm very happy to be joining Fan Force United," said Alesi, who still has yet to turn a wheel in an IndyCar, although the 47-year-old F1 veteran says he has made considerable use of Dallara's simulator.
"Lotus believe 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 did a seat fitting on Monday and from now onward I'll concentrate on preparing for the race ahead of the other drivers getting out there. Last week I've spent two days in Italy at the Dallara factory on their simulator, which is an incredibly sophisticated bit of kit and on which I have learned so much about oval techniques and setup.
"So I feel ready for the Indy 500, but also I am very happy to be doing the rookie test on May 10 ahead of the real practice. This will give me time to gain confidence and the feeling for the car and the track. The race is now just three weeks away, and we're going to be working flat out up to that date. I can't wait.”
Following the termination of Dragon Racing's association with Lotus, with the Jay Penske-run team filing a lawsuit against the engine supplier in California Superior Court this week alleging contract fraud, Alesi and HVM Racing's Simona de Silvestro will be the only drivers entered at Indy in Lotus-engined cars.