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All the former F1 drivers at the 2022 Indy 500 and the big race contenders' guide

The Indianapolis 500 returns this weekend so here is Planet Sport's guide to the drivers of this year's edition of the iconic race, and several will be well-known to fans of F1.

After five rounds, the IndyCar season is anyone's for the taking. Will Power leads the way in the standings but he is closely followed by Alex Palou and Scott McLaughlin as 33 drivers descend on the Indianapolis Speedway circuit.

Ahead of the 106th edition of the event, here is all you need to know about the 33 drivers taking part - including some very familiar names to those of you who have watched Formula 1 in recent years.

Scott Dixon (Honda, Chip Ganassi Racing)

Average qualifying speed - 234.046mph

Nineteen years on from his first IndyCar championship, Kiwi Dixon is still at it. He entered the sport in 2003 and has gone on to win a record six World Championships, most recently in 2020, giving him more than a substantial claim to be regarded as the best in history.

The 41-year-old has earned 50 wins, 124 podiums and 31 poles, five of which have been at the Indy 500 - one off the record for the famous track. His 234.046 mph four-lap average is the fastest ever recorded and secured him his first pole of the season.

Alex Palou (Honda, Chip Ganassi Racing)


The reigning World Champion arrives in Indianapolis hoping to pick up the first win of his season. The 25-year-old Spaniard arrived in IndyCar in 2020 following a stint in Japan and joined the Dale Coyne Racing team where he finished 16th in his rookie season.

In his first season with Chip Ganassi Racing, he beat Josef Newgarden to the 2021 crown and is currently second in the drivers' standings.

He has good form at the Indy 500 following a second-place finish last year but will be hoping to go one better this time round.

Rinus VeeKay (Chevrolet, Ed Carpenter Racing)


Born in Hoofddorp on the outskirts of Amsterdam, VeeKay is in his third season in the sport having started his very first race by crashing out in practice.
Since then, the 21-year-old has gone on to pick up his first race win in the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and finished eighth at the Indy 500 in 2022. In 2020, he was named the IndyCar Rookie of the Year.

Ed Carpenter (Chevrolet, Ed Carpenter Racing)


One of two owner/drivers in the sports, Carpenter was unable to add to his five Indy 500 poles but did put himself amongst the frontrunners. The 41-year-old has competed in 192 races over a 20-year period and has three wins on his record, most recently in 2014.
Born in Paris, Illinois, Carpenter became a local hero when he scored back-to-back pole positions for the Indy 500 in 2013 and 2014. In 2018 he added another to that list to become only the 10th driver in the 102-year history of the Indianapolis 500 to win three or more pole positions

Marcus Ericsson (Honda, Chip Ganassi Racing)


After 97 starts across a four-year period in Formula 1 with Sauber, Ericsson made the switch to IndyCar where he joined Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
However it was a move to Chip Ganassi Racing that saw his fortunes improve. In 2021 he picked up the only two wins of his career to date and has already finished on the podium this campaign in Texas.

Tony Kanaan (Honda, Chip Ganassi Racing)


At 47 years old, Kanaan would become the joint oldest Indy 500 winner in history should he triumph on Sunday. He started his racing career in 1994 and has made 294 appearances in IndyCar over a 20-year period.
He has won 16 times, most recently in 2014 and 72 podiums. Following an 11-year run of bad luck at the circuit, Kanaan finally broke his Indy 500 duck in 2013.

Pato O'Ward (Chevrolet, Arrow McLaren SP)


Having been involved in a championship fight up until the final race in 2021, O'Ward started the 2022 campaign slowly.
The Arrow McLaren SP driver went the opening three races without a win and only once breaking into the top 10 during that time. Thankfully for the Mexican, he picked up his victory in Alabama to kick-start his season.

Felix Rosenqvist (Chevrolet, Arrow McLaren SP)


Starting alongside his Arrow McLaren SP team-mate, the older Rosenqvist will be keen to show what he can do. The Swede has one of the most varied driving careers of anyone on the grid having competed in 11 different types of racing.
He joined IndyCar in 2019 and so far has one win and three podiums on his record.

Romain Grosjean (Honda, Andretti Autosport)


Despite a run of eight years in the sport, Grosjean's Formula 1 career came to be known for his fiery crash in the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. Not only did he remarkably survive but he came back to racing in the form of IndyCar.
He hit the ground running and almost picked up the Rookie of the Year award. The Frenchman joined Andretti Autosport for 2022 and announced he would be competing in the whole schedule having only raced in street and road course events in the 2021 season.

Takuma Sato (Honda, Dale Coyne Racing)


A two-time winner of the Indy 500, Sato became the first Asian to win the race shortly after he became the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar event at the Long Beach Grand Prix.
He has raced for four different teams in the sport and is known by fans and the media for his racing motto of "no attack, no chance."

Will Power (Chevrolet, Team Penske)


The championship leader has work to do if he wants to extend that gap on Sunday. The 41-year-old has finished no lower than fourth in any race this season and while he has so far only made it onto the podium twice, his consistency has given him a 14-point lead at the top of the standings.
Despite a 30th-place finish last year, Power will have fond memories of the Indy 500 having won the event in 2018.

Jimmie Johnson (Honda, Chip Ganassi Racing)


A NASCAR legend, Johnson switched to IndyCar in 2020 but has found the going tough, frequently running towards the back of the field and struggling with spins. But he has shown glimpses of improvement in 2022 with a career-best sixth in Texas.
In 2011 and 2012, Johnson was ranked number one on Forbes.com's list of "Most Influential Athletes".

David Malukas (Honda, Dale Coyne Racing with HMD)


The youngest driver on the grid, the Lithuanian-American was a graduate of Indy Lights before moving up to IndyCar this year.
It has been a difficult start to his career in the sport so far having finished out of the top 20 on two occasions. He has shown an improvement in recent races though and crossed the line 12th in the GMR Grand Prix.

Josef Newgarden (Chevrolet, Team Penske)


Currently fourth in the championship, Newgarden has his work cut out for him if he wants to stay there after the Indy 500. He has been competing in the sport for a decade now and in that time has managed 22 wins including in the third round of this year's championship.
He has twice won the championship with those victories coming in 2017 and 2019 with Team Penske.

Santino Ferrucci (Chevrolet, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing)


Ferrucci splits his racing time between IndyCar and NASCAR and has so far competed in just one race of the former this season.

He signed with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing to compete in the Indy 500 but stepped up to replace Jack Harvey at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the XPEL 375 when Harvey injured himself in a crash.

The 23-year-old American has never secured a win or a podium but has come fourth on four occasions including at the Indy 500 in 2020.

Simon Pagenaud (Honda, Meyer Shank Racing)


A thirteen-time race winner, including the 103rd running of the Indy 500 in 2019, the 38-year-old Frenchman has been racing in IndyCar since 2011.
He also regularly competes in other events such as Le Mans and he won the 2022 24 Hours of Daytona with Meyer Shank Racing.

JR Hildebrand (Chevrolet, A.J. Foyt Racing)


Despite a 67-race career over 13 years, the 34-year-old has made it to the podium on just three occasions. Like Pagenaud, he is a fan of a variety of motorsports and has competed in the American Le Mans Series and Indy Lights.
In 2011, he came agnonisingly close to winning the Indy 500 before hitting the wall on the final corner of the race and crossing the line in second place behind Dan Wheldon.

Conor Daly (Chevrolet, Ed Carpenter Racing)


Competing in his first full IndyCar season since 2017, Daly has a varied background including a brief stint racing trucks in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Over his 85-race IndyCar career, the 30-year-old has achieved just one pole and one podium.

Callum Ilott (Chevrolet, Juncos Hollinger Racing)


The fast-driving Brit was a member of Red Bull Junior Team in 2015 prior to his FIA Formula 3 European Championship debut but was dropped after failing to win a race. He then joined the Ferrari Driver Academy but has experienced a run of bad luck in regards to his F1 aspirations.
At a 2019 in-season test in Barcelona, his run was cut short 41 laps due to a crash and then when he looked set to take part in an F1 weekend for the first time with Haas at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix, it was cancelled due to bad weather.
In 2021, he signed with Juncos Hollinger Racing for the last three IndyCar races and has remained there as a full-time driver for 2022.

Alexander Rossi (Honda, Andretti Autosport)


Another ex-Formula 1 driver who found his way into IndyCar. Rossi's CV may not be as long as Grosjean's (as he only made five starts for Marussia) but he has had better fortune in IndyCar.

Now team-mates with the former Haas driver, Rossi has driven for Andretti Autosport since 2016 and won the Indy 500 in his rookie season.

Graham Rahal (Honda, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)


Rahal has been with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, a team partially owned by his father, since 2013 and after finishing fourth and fifth in the 2015 and 2016 seasons respectively, he has found the going tougher since then.
He is currently 12th in the Drivers' Standings for the 2022 campaign and had to endure a race to forget in Texas when he retired after 128 laps. The 33-year-old has never won the Indy 500 but has come third on two occasions.

Sage Karam (Chevrolet, Dreyer & Reinbold)


Another part-time driver who splits his racing days between IndyCar and NASCAR. The 27-year-old has been racing in IndyCar since 2014 but has only ever managed one podium in that time.
Having come ninth in his first Indy 500, he went six races at the famous track before he would crack the top 10 once more with a seventh-placed finish last year.

Marco Andretti (Honda, Andretti Herta Autosport with Marco Curb)


Son of four-time IndyCar champion Michael and grandson of 1978 Formula 1 World Champion Mario, Marco Andretti has a lot to live up to.
At 35 years old, his achievements on the track do not quite live up to his family name but he has been racing part-time in IndyCar since 2006. His best result in that time was two wins, the first coming in 2006 and the second in 2011.

Devlin DeFrancesco (Honda, Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport)


A driver in 11 different categories, including a stint in Formula 3, DeFrancesco's background is certainly diverse for a 22-year-old. Having moved to IndyCar this year to join Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport, he has found it challenging so far.
On just once occasion, the Grand Prix of Alabama, has he finished within the top 20 but he did impress with the same team in Indy Lights last year including two podiums.

Colton Herta (Honda, Andretti Autosport)


One of a number of IndyCar drivers with an eye on a future in F1, the 22-year-old American was given an up-close experience of a race as a guest of McLaren at the Miami Grand Prix.
The development driver for McLaren has an impressive resume in his early IndyCar career having earned six wins in just two full seasons. He added another to that tally last time out at the GMR Grand Prix but has work to do if he wants to take home his first Indy 500 crown.

Scott McLaughlin (Chevrolet, Team Penske)


The New Zealander joined IndyCar in 2020 and has so far managed to pick up one race win and three podiums. He has started the 2022 season in excellent form, earning his only win in the St. Petersburg Grand Prix before following it up with a second place in Texas.
His strong start sees him sit third in the Drivers' Standings but there is a mountain to climb this weekend given his low starting spot.

Helio Castroneves (Honda, Meyer Shank Racing)


It perhaps says a lot about the pedigree of its racers that a man who has won the Indy 500 four times can qualify so low down on the grid.

At the age of 47 he is returning to the oval to defend his crown having won his first Indy 500 in 12 years in 2021.

If he were to triumph this weekend, he would move clear as the driver with the most Indy 500 wins.

Kyle Kirkwood (Chevrolet, A.J. Foyt Racing)


The current Indy Lights champion was on the radar of many IndyCar teams, including Andretti Autosport who he was racing for during his winning campaign, but it was A.J. Foyt Racing he signed for after a seat failed to open up for him at Andretti.
His best result in his rookie season is 10th at the Long Beach Grand Prix and it would take quite the drive to beat that this weekend.

Dalton Kellett (Chevrolet, A.J. Foyt Racing)


Team-mates alongside Kirkwood, Kellett has twice raced in Indianapolis but has failed to break the top 20. In his first race at the circuit, he finished 31st but improved to 23rd last year.
After four consecutive seasons in Indy Lights, he moved to IndyCar in 2020 but has failed to finish at any race so far.

Juan Pablo Montoya (Chevrolet, Arrow McLaren SP)


Eighteen years since leaving Formula 1, the 46-year-old has now competed in seven IndyCar seasons dating back to 2000.

His two wins at the Indy 500 came in 2000 and 2015 but since then he has only finished as high as sixth.

Christian Lungaard (Honda, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)


Despite being only 20 years old, the Dane is in his second IndyCar season having competed at the Indianapolis Grand Prix last year. In 2022, he started with an 11th-place finish in the season opener and most recently crossed the line ninth last time out at the 2022 GMR Grand Prix.
Before IndyCar he raced in Formula 2 for ART Grand Prix and Trident. In that series, he finished 12th in 2021.

Jack Harvey (Honda, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing)


One of three British drivers on the grid, Harvey lists Michael Schumacher, James Hunt and Jim Clark as his heroes and has been racing since the age of nine. He became the British Formula 3 champion in 2012 and joined IndyCar in 2017.
At the Indy 500, his best result is a ninth-place finish which he achieved at the 2020 race.

Stefan Wilson (Chevrolet, DragonSpeed/Cusick Racing)

No speed

The only man to not set a qualifying speed for the Indy 500 means he starts at the very back of the 33-car grid.
The Brit from Yorkshire has only once competed in an IndyCar race that was not Indy 500 but he has not enjoyed much success at the famous track. In three appearances, he has finished a combined 76th with the best of those being a 15th-placed finish in 2018.

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