Former Indianapolis 500 winner and series champion Danny Sullivan will serve as the Drivers’ Representative on the FIA Stewards’ panel at this weekend’s inaugural Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi Autodrom.

A former New York taxi driver, Sullivan moved to the UK and spent several years trying to fund his own climb up the motorsport ladder towards a top-flight career – picking up the occasional success and plenty of misfortune along the way.

After returning to the States, he achieved success in Can-Am in the early 1980s and suddenly his name was attracting attention: he finished third on his IndyCar debut for Forsythe Newman.

For 1983, he jumped into Formula 1 with Tyrrell, but it was a largely frustrating season. Just a fifth place at Monaco and second in the Race of Champions were all he could pick up in the way of meaningful results with the normally-aspirated 011 chassis.

The lure of IndyCars brought him back to the USA after just a single year in F1, and he took three wins in 1984 before moving to Penske, where he took a famous ‘spin and win’ victory at the 1985 Indianapolis 500, making him part of American racing folklore. He won the 1988 IndyCar title, and remained in the series until a nasty crash at Michigan in 1995 ended his racing career.

Sullivan ventured into motorsport commentary before heading up Red Bull’s now-defunct American Driver Search program that promoted Scott Speed as the country’s most recent representative in F1.

Sullivan’s last appearance with FIA officials came at the Spanish Grand Prix in May. He has served on six previous occasions in this capacity.

Meanwhile, the FIA has confirmed that this weekend’s race will feature two dedicated DRS zones.

Controlled by separate detection points, the first DRS zone runs between Turns 1 and 2 with its detection point placed just after the start/finish straight. The second DRS zone is placed on the long stretch of track that runs between Turns 10 and 13; its detection point has been placed just before Turn 10.

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Geoff Burke

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