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.
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.