Jaques Lazier closes on Indy 500 return

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Jaques Lazier, who last attempted to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in 2010 and last raced in IndyCar in 2009, is close to a comeback.

Lazier, younger brother of 1996 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy, is working on an opportunity with what would be a new Dallara chassis (not one used by Lotus teams a year ago), with partners coming together to make an effort.

In barely 20 laps of running before attempting to qualify in A.J. Foyt’s second car in 2010 (car pictured last year with driver Wade Cunningham), Lazier got up to speed quickly at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“We hit 225.2 in 20 laps, so that shouldn’t be an issue,” said Lazier, 42, in the Long Beach paddock on Friday. “We’ve got some great partners working to make it happen, and just working on an engine.”

Buddy Lazier last attempted to qualify in 2009, and last made the race in 2008.

The brothers Lazier were each in the 2007 Indianapolis 500, the last before open-wheel unification in 2008.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.