Former F1 driver Jean Alesi has announced he feels “unsafe” at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway driving his Lotus powered IndyCar. He is dangerously off the pace of the front runners after initial practice sessions.
You notice when a car passes you on the road 10kph faster than you are doing. Imagine what Jean Alesi feels like at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His Lotus powered Fan Forced entry is topping out at 328kph. Sounds fast, but the front runners are doing an immense 358. Alesi has declared he feels unsafe driving with his competitors going so much faster.
“Right now, I feel very unsafe, being quite slow in the middle of the track,” Alesi said to Speed TV. “So I am quite concerned for my fellow drivers, if we are not able to get the speed that we need. I am flat out and I have reached 205 mph as the maximum that I can see. So it is not a comfortable position right now. ”
It’s nothing to do with Alesi’s talent. The 47-year-old is one of two Lotus powered entries (the other piloted by female racer Simona de Silvestro) and both are dangerously off the pace. There is 105 per cent rule which means all competitors have to be within that of the pole position time to compete, but IndyCar officials have indicated they may drop that, believing the Lotus cars will be fine once a draft is created and they can drive in the slipstream of the pack.
The other safety measure is that only 33 entries are allowed to compete, but this year only 34 have entered, with three of those being Lotus powered and one without a driver yet, so Alesi and de Silvestro will still make it in.
The famous Indy 500 race takes place on May 27.
Damian Francis has previously edited Australian T3 and F1 Racing magazine and wrote for GQ Australia and Men’s Health. Unlike Nick and Trev, he has no kids, no mortgage and no wife, but lives happily on Sydney’s North Shore with his girlfriend.