Gallery: F1 drivers who raced in the Indy 500

Several F1 drivers have been lured by the Indy 500, which forms a part of the the Triple Crown of Motorsport. While some went on to win the fabled race, others returned with less spectacular results.

Gallery: F1 drivers who raced in the Indy 500

On Wednesday, McLaren announced that Fernando Alonso will skip the Monaco Grand Prix to make his Indy 500 debut. The occasion will also mark McLaren's return to the US after nearly four decades.

The Spaniard's car will be run by Andretti Autosport and powered by a Honda engine.

F1 and Indy 500 have had a long relationship and the fabled American race was once a part of the world championship. 

Motorsport.com compiles a list of F1 drivers who crossed the Atlantic to take part in the Indy 500

 

Alberto Ascari (1952)

Alberto Ascari (1952)
1/20

Photo by: Ferrari Media Center

Alberto Ascari competed in the 1952 Indy 500 for Ferrari, drawing significant attention. However, his race came to an early end with a wheel failure.

Juan Manuel Fangio (1958)

Juan Manuel Fangio (1958)
2/20

Photo by: IndyCar Series

Just like his rival Ascari, five-time F1 champion Juan Manuel Fangio tried his fortune in the Indy 500 in 1958, but without much success. He eventually withdrew his entry from the fabled American event.

Jack Brabham (1961, '64, '69, '70)

Jack Brabham (1961, '64, '69, '70)
3/20

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Jack Brabham first competed in Indy 500 in 1961 with Cooper, the same outfit with which he won both his F1 titles. The Australian claimed a respectable ninth place finish, but his three further Indy 500 appearances ended in retirement.

Jim Clark (1965)

Jim Clark (1965)
4/20

Photo by: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

During a busy 1965 season, Jim Clark decided to skip the Monaco Grand Prix to race across the Atlantic in the Indy 500. It turned out to be an inspired decision; not only did he win the Indy 500, he also secured enough points to secure his second F1 title in the same year.

Graham Hill (1966)

Graham Hill (1966)
5/20

Photo by: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Graham Hill won the Indy 500 an year after Clark's triumph. He remains the only driver to claim the Triple Crown of Motorsport, i.e the Monaco Grand Prix, Indy 500 and Le Mans 24 Hours.

Jackie Stewart (1966 and 1967)

Jackie Stewart (1966 and 1967)
6/20

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Jackie Stewart led the 1966 Indy 500 for 40 laps, but had to retire from the race with just nine laps to go due to an engine problem. He also had a crack at Indy 500 the following year, but retired with another engine issue.

Jochen Rindt (1967 and 1968)

Jochen Rindt (1967 and 1968)
7/20

Photo by: IndyCar Series

Before winning the F1 title in 1970, Jochen Rindt raced in Indy 500 in 1967 and '68, retiring at both occasions.

Mario Andretti (victory in 1969)

Mario Andretti (victory in 1969)
8/20

Photo by: IndyCar Series

Mario Andretti won the Indy 500 in 1969, 10 years before he claimed his maiden F1 title in '78. He also has a victory in Daytona 500 under his belt.

Mark Donohue (victory in 1972)

Mark Donohue (victory in 1972)
9/20

Photo by: IndyCar Series

Mark Donohue raced at the Indy 500 on several occasions, bagging the top prize in 1972. Unfortunately, his time in F1 was far less successful, having achieved only a single podium finish in his 14-race career.

Denny Hulme (1967, '68, '69, '71)

Denny Hulme (1967, '68, '69, '71)
10/20

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Denny Hulme was another F1 world champion to brace the Indy 500, making four appearances in late 60s and early 70s. His best finish was fourth, achieved twice in 1967 and '68.

Emerson Fittipaldi (victories in 1989 and 1993)

Emerson Fittipaldi (victories in 1989 and 1993)
11/20

Photo by: Ron McQueeney - IMS

After retiring from grand prix racing, two-time F1 champion and all-around legend Emerson Fittipaldi found more success in the States, winning the Indy 500 in 1989 and '93 - the second of his triumphs coming at the age of 47.

Nelson Piquet (1992 and 1993)

Nelson Piquet (1992 and 1993)
12/20

Photo by: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Nelson Piquet made two attempts at the Indy 500; in 1992 he suffered a crash in practice, while in 1993 a blown engine brought his outing to an early halt.

Nigel Mansell (1993 and 1994)

Nigel Mansell (1993 and 1994)
13/20

Photo by: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Although Nigel Mansell couldn't win the Indy 500 on his debut in 1993, he did clinch the drivers championship in the Indycar series.

Jacques Villeneuve (Victory in 1995)

Jacques Villeneuve (Victory in 1995)
14/20

Photo by: IndyCar Series

Before his Formula 1 debut, Jacques Villeneuve won the 1995 Indy 500 race in controversial circumstances.

Eddie Cheever (victory in 1998)

Eddie Cheever (victory in 1998)
15/20

Photo by: IndyCar Series

American Eddie Cheever regularly raced in Indy 500, winning the grand prize for his own team in 1998.

Juan Pablo Montoya (Victories in 2000 and 2015)

Juan Pablo Montoya (Victories in 2000 and 2015)
16/20

Photo by: IndyCar Series

Like Villeneuve, Juan Pablo Montoya also raced in the US before making his F1 debut. His first Indy 500 victory came on his debut outing in 2000. The second win followed over a decade later in 2015 with renowned American squad Team Penske.

Takuma Sato (2010-16)

Takuma Sato (2010-16)
17/20

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

In 2012, Takuma Sato came close to winning the Indy 500. On the final lap, Sato was running second and chasing race leader Dario Franchitti. However, the two drivers made contact, with Sato spinning out as a result.

Jean Alesi (2012)

Jean Alesi (2012)
18/20

Photo by: XPB Images

A decade after retiring from Formula 1, Alesi made his Indy 500 debut with a Lotus engine. However, it was a largely forgettable outing for the Frenchman, who received a black flag for failing to run within 105% of the leaders.

Alexander Rossi (victory in 2016)

Alexander Rossi (victory in 2016)
19/20

Photo by: IndyCar Series

On a risky fuel strategy, Alexander Rossi emerged as a surprise winner in the 100th running of Indy 500.

Fernando Alonso (2017)

Fernando Alonso (2017)
20/20

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Fernando Alonso will make his Indy 500 debut in 2017, driving an Andretti-run car in McLaren colours.
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