Indy 500: Ex-Formula 1 driver wins 500 miles

For the 13th time, a driver who switched from Formula 1 to IndyCar has won the Indy 500: Marcus Ericsson is also the 74th winner in 106 editions of the spectacular, fast and, above all, oldest car race in the world. That brings around two million dollars in prize money to the 31-year-old’s account.
And another former Formula 1 driver played a role in the race: Romain Grosjean. The Frenchman was one of six riders to crash during the 500 miles (around 800 kilometers).
Curious: Grosjean never wanted to drive the Indy 500 precisely because of this acute risk of accidents. After 179 Grands Prix, his Formula 1 career ended in 2020 with a terrible fire accident in Bahrain, which he miraculously survived. “For two minutes and 25 seconds, three children thought they were losing their father and my wife thought she was losing her husband. If I were still 25 years old, single and childless, I would run the race, but not like this,” he said in 2021. Then he switched to IndyCar and only contested the circuit and street races, not the oval courses.

Grosjean crash on debut

Grosjean wasn’t the only rider in the wall.

Because they are dangerous. 499 drivers have had to give up the race prematurely due to an accident. This means that there are an average of five accidents per race. And that at speeds over 350 km/h. Scott Dixon’s pole position in 2022 was actually the fastest pole lap ever – with an average of 376.661 km/h. And that without run-off zones. Every little mistake leads to a big crash with the almost 700 hp racing cars.
But Grosjean changed his mind before the 2022 season because he signed a contract with the top team Andretti, which wants to be the eleventh team to enter Formula 1. He survived yesterday’s accident unscathed. “I do not know what happened. The car just swerved,” he describes in dismay.

Grosjean wasn’t the only rider in the wall. NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson also got it, as did Rinus VeeKay, Callum Ilott and Scott McLaughlin.

38 lead changes between nine drivers

The accidents were decisive for the race. The yellow phases triggered by this repeatedly changed the strategies of the teams. Johnson’s accident seven laps before the end even brought the red flag – and the mega showdown between Ericsson and McLaren driver Pato O’Ward at the end.

With the victory, Marcus Ericsson also takes the lead in the championship.

Which Ericsson won. “I just gave everything to leave him behind. I can’t believe it,” says Ericsson. He drove 79 Formula 1 races between 2014 and 2018 for Caterham and Sauber.

The Indy 500 offered two hours and 51 minutes of the best motorsport action. The lead changed hands 38 times between nine drivers. Six-time champion and pole-sitter Scott Dixon looked like the big favorite for a long time, but then pitted too quickly.

Ericsson provides team boss Chip Ganassi with his fifth Indy 500 win, the first since Dario Franchitti in 2012. And he is the second Swede to win the prestigious race, after Kenny Bräck in 1999.

With the win, Ericsson also took the lead in the championship.

Result Indy 500 (Top 10)

1. Marcus Ericsson (Ganassi-Honda)
2. Pato O’Ward (McLaren SP Chevrolet)
3. Tony Kanaan (Ganassi Honda)
4. Felix Rosenqvist (McLaren SP Chevrolet)
5. Alexander Rossi (Andretti-Honda)
6. Conor Daly (Carpenter Chevrolet)
7. Helio Castroneves (Meyer Shank Chevrolet)
8. Simon Pagenaud (Mayer Shank Chevrolet)
9. Alex Palou (Ganassi Honda)
10. Santino Ferrucci (Dreyer & Reinbold Chevrolet)

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button