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In the wake of Helio Castroneves’ stunning victory in the 105th Indianapolis 500, I’d like to take you on a tour of the race’s history and the footsteps of the few F1 world champions who have won the Indy 500.
Like Alonso in 2017, Jim Clark chose not to take part in the 1965 Monaco Grand Prix in order to race in the Indy 500. This choice paid off, and for his third participation, he managed to win the event. The year 1965 was to be the year of all records as the Scot won the F1 world championship the same year. To this day, he is the only driver to have achieved this feat.
The 1960s marked the advent of British drivers at Indianapolis. One year after Jim Clark, Graham Hill succeeded his compatriot. This was followed by 39 years without British success at Indy before the splendid victory of the late Dan Weldon to see the Union Jack flag once again win on the Brickyard. With five wins at Monaco, the Indy 500 in 1966 and a fine victory at the 1972 Le Mans 24 Hours, Graham Hill is to this day the only driver to have won the Monaco-Indy 500-Le Mans Triple Crown. Can a driver ever repeat this feat?
The great Mario Andretti won the Indianapolis 500 in 1969, 9 years before his Formula 1 title with the legendary Lotus 79. After that, the American tried his luck 24 times on the Indianapolis oval without ever crossing the finish line in first position. His last participation was in 1993, when at the age of 53 he lined up alongside three former F1 world champions: Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet and Emerson Fittipaldi, who won that year.
Fittipaldi left F1 in 1980 after the chaos of his Copersucar team and began a second life in the United States. The Brazilian won the 500 Miles twice and caused a scandal during his second victory by refusing to drink the traditional victory milk, preferring to drink orange juice… To this day, Emerson Fittipaldi still provokes the resentment of certain American fans.
The Canadian driver is the most recent winner on this F1-Indy list. He first won the Indianapolis 500 in 1995 before moving to F1 the following year and being crowned in 1997. His 1995 victory is still remembered as he won the race despite a two lap penalty for passing the safety car. Since this feat, his race was nicknamed the Indy 505.
Written by Nico AUPEE founder of @F1FormuleFrance on Instagram
Page automatically translated from French with DeepL®
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