Jean Alesi will make his return to competitive open-wheel racing at, of all events, next year’s Indianapolis 500, with the French-Sicilian announcing he would attempt to qualify for the prestigious event in a Group Lotus-backed entry.

Former F1 driver Alesi, 47, works as a Group Lotus brand ambassador since he retired from motorsport. The mercurial driver – still considered a darling in the eyes of many F1 fans – has no oval-racing experience…

“I’m thrilled that Lotus has given me the opportunity to compete in such a world famous race,” he beamed, making the announcement during the Singapore Grand Prix weekend.

“It’s going to be a very special experience for me but I also know that I have a lot of hard work ahead. I’m very focused on the task I’m facing – I’m taking my training very seriously, I have some amazing support on this front from a ‘comeback’ expert and of course I will be testing extensively. I’m really excited about the race.

“Be very sure that this is not a case of me going through a mid-life crisis!” he added.

[Original image via Flickr]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.