The next Indianapolis 500 champion will be crowned on Sunday as the eyes of the motorsports world shift from the Monaco Grand Prix to the IndyCar series.
However, the pageantry of the race is such that many non-IndyCar fans will be attracted to the event – some for the first time.
Here, Racing News365.com highlights drivers of interest to F1 fans watching the Indy 500 ahead of the 250 lap race.
Former F1 drivers
Four former F1 drivers will line up at the start of the Indy 500 race, three of whom have already won a race.
Alexander Rossi secured victory in the 100th edition of the event and returns in pursuit of a second triumph as part of the Arrow McLaren four-car effort. The American competed in several F1 races in 2015 for Manor Marussia before switching to IndyCar. He will start from the middle of the third row in seventh place.
Former driver for Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri Takuma Sato retired from full-time involvement with IndyCar and instead signed an oval contract with Chip Ganassi Racing and begins his plan with a third Indy 500 win from eighth place.
The defending champion Marcus Ericsson starts at 10, also for CGR. The Swede has found a home in IndyCar after leaving F1 without being able to show his potential on stints with Caterham and Sauber.
Romain Grosjean garnered the most attention since moving to IndyCar following his horrific crash at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix and initially turning down the chance to beat the ovals, he made his Indy 500 debut last year. The former Renault, Lotus and Haas driver will start 19th for Andretti Autosport.
Test drivers, juniors and F2
Several big names that have been part of the F1 team’s junior or test programs and also competed in the F2 series.
Alex Palu broke records with his pole position run last weekend for CGR, known to McLaren fans from his TPC runs last year. The Spaniard was the 2021 IndyCar Champion.
Mexican Patrick O’Ward he also took part in TPC runs, as well as post-season young driver tests and FP1 sessions for McLaren and appeared in the IndyCar team programme. It starts with the fifth.
Colton’s heart he is the third driver in the race to complete last season’s McLaren test and was selected for a seat at AlphaTauri this term but was thwarted by the FIA’s superlicensing system. American races for Andretti Autosport and starts with P21.
Former Ferrari junior Callum Ilotta will start 27th for Juncos Hollinger Racing after enduring a nightmare month so far. The Briton has been impressive since moving to America following his efforts on the F1 career ladder.
Former F2 rival Christian Lundgaard was part of the Alpine Academy but found new pastures in the United States. The Dane scored his first pole position at the Indianapolis road circuit earlier this month, but had to survive a last-ditch qualifying session to secure a spot on the grid. Driver Rahal Letterman Lanigan starts from 30th place.
Two off-road drivers have ties to F1 through family members.
Conor DalyHis father, Derek, was one of the drivers who missed out on winning the 1982 Monaco Grand Prix – which ended in extraordinary circumstances – and drove for a number of teams including Tyrrell and Williams. Conor starts 16th for Ed Carpenter Racing.
Marco Andretti he races for his father’s team and starts 24th. Michael had a sweltering spell at McLaren in 1993, but his dad, Mario, was Lotus World Champion in 1978 and cemented his status as a motorsport legend.
There is one driver who will not race Stefan Wilsonwho was forced to withdraw after sustaining injuries in a training accident earlier in the week.
The Briton is the younger brother of the late Justin Wilson, who raced for Minardi and Jaguar in F1 before becoming a Champcar and IndyCar winner.