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Lotus to run former F1 star Jean Alesi in 2012 Indy 500

Illustration for article titled Lotus to run former F1 star Jean Alesi in 2012 Indy 500

Among the smarter moves made by the nü-wave crew at Lotus has been hiring former Formula 1 star Jean Alesi as a brand ambassador/Jeremy Clarkson ballhandler. Today, Lotus announced it was giving Alesi another job: Running the Indianapolis 500.


Alesi, who still races in LeMans and German DTM cars following a 12-year F1 stint, will be making his oval-track debut with Lotus' new 2.2-liter turbo V6, one of a few new engines meant to inject some semblance of a pulse into IndyCar racing. In F1, Alesi was famed for outracing Ayrton Senna in Phoenix in 1990 — and turning that promise into one win, many podiums and a record harvest of rotten luck. With Mario Andretti no longer running, Alesi perfectly fits Indy's historic slot for a star-crossed European racer.

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Andy Sheehan, StreetsideStig

I know it's hard to get bored at 2 million mph, but the 500? After F1?