Indy 500 entry list released Tuesday with 33 cars, 32 drivers

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The 97th Indianapolis 500 entry list was officially released Tuesday, in a departure from previous years when it has been announced in April. There may be revisions for the field to hit the 33-car number for the race.

Prior to the release, there were 32 confirmed car/driver combinations: the 25 drivers who have raced in all four IndyCar events this year, and previously announced part-time/one-off entries for AJ Allmendinger (Team Penske), Ryan Briscoe (Chip Ganassi Racing), Carlos Munoz (Andretti Autosport), Conor Daly (A.J. Foyt Racing), Michel Jourdain Jr. (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), Pippa Mann (Dale Coyne Racing) and Townsend Bell (Panther Racing).

The only new arrival to the list was a second Ed Carpenter Racing entry, with no driver listed.

Buddy Rice, the 2004 Indianapolis 500 champion who had been linked to a third Schmidt car, was not listed. Expected or anticipated announcements for several other rumored drivers – Bryan Clauson, the Lazier brothers (Buddy and Jaques), Jay Howard and/or Katherine Legge – have also failed to materialize at this point.

In total, the list includes three former 500 winners (three-timers Helio Castroneves and Dario Franchitti, and 2008 champion Scott Dixon), and four 500 rookies (AJ Allmendinger, Carlos Munoz, Conor Daly and Tristan Vautier).

The entry list breakdown by team and engine manufacturer is below. All 33 cars also have a “T” car, a spare, listed.

Entry Car Driver             Team                C/E/T 

1.     1    Ryan Hunter-Reay     Andretti               D/C/F 
2.     2    AJ Allmendinger (R)  Penske                 D/C/F
3.     3    Helio Castroneves (W)Penske                 D/C/F
4.     4    JR Hildebrand        Panther                D/C/F
5.     5    EJ Viso              Venezuela/Andretti/HVM D/C/F 
6.     6    Sebastian Saavedra   Dragon                 D/C/F 
7.     7    Sebastien Bourdais   Dragon                 D/C/F 
8.     8    Ryan Briscoe         NTT Chip Ganassi       D/H/F
9.     9    Scott Dixon (W)      Target Chip Ganassi    D/H/F
10.    10   Dario Franchitti (W) Target Chip Ganassi    D/H/F
11.    11   Tony Kanaan          KV                     D/C/F 
12.    12   Will Power           Penske                 D/C/F
13.    14   Takuma Sato          Foyt                   D/H/F
14.    15   Graham Rahal         RLL                    D/H/F
15.    16   James Jakes          RLL                    D/H/F
16.    17   Michel Jourdain Jr.RLL                   D/H/F 
17.    18   Ana Beatriz          Coyne                  D/H/F 
18.    19   Justin Wilson        Coyne                  D/H/F
19.    20   Ed Carpenter         Carpenter              D/C/F
20.    21   Josef Newgarden      Fisher Hartman         D/H/F 
21.    22   Oriol Servia         Panther DRR            D/C/F 
22.    25   Marco Andretti       Andretti               D/C/F
23.    26   Carlos Munoz (R)     Andretti               D/C/F
24.    27   James Hinchcliffe    Andretti               D/C/F
25.    40   TBA                  Carpenter              D/C/F
26.    41   Conor Daly (R)       Foyt                   D/H/F
27.    55   Tristan Vautier (R)  Schmidt Peterson       D/H/F 
28.    60   Townsend Bell        Panther                D/C/F
29.    77   Simon Pagenaud       Schmidt Hamilton       D/H/F
30.    78   Simona de Silvestro  KV                     D/C/F 
31.    83   Charlie Kimball      Novo Nordisk Ganassi   D/H/F
32.    98   Alex Tagliani      Barracuda/BHA          D/H/F 
33.   TBA   Pippa Mann           Coyne                  D/H/F

F1 2017 driver review: Sergio Perez

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Sergio Perez

Team: Sahara Force India
Car No.: 11
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P4 (Spain)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 100
Championship Position: 7th

While failing to hit the podium as he did in both 2015 and 2016, Sergio Perez once again finished the year as Formula 1’s leading midfield team driver, but faced a greater fight from within Force India in the shape of Esteban Ocon.

Perez has long been knocking on the door of F1’s top teams should an opportunity come up, and 2017 saw him continue his solid if unspectacular form. The dominance of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari meant any finish higher than seventh was impressive, something he managed to do on five occasions.

But there were some missed opportunities along the way, most significantly in Baku. Force India had been quick all weekend, with Perez charging to sixth on the grid, and when drama struck at the front, he and teammate Ocon were eyeing a podium finish as a minimum.

Contact between the two forced Perez to retire and prompted Ocon to pit for repairs, leaving the team without the top-three finish it targeted heading into the season. With Lance Stroll taking P3 for Williams and Daniel Ricciardo winning the race, a maiden victory for Force India was not out of the realm of imagination.

Perez and Ocon came to blows on a number of occasions, with the final straw coming in Spa when they twice touched on-track, prompting Force India to introduce team orders. Perez finished the year 13 points clear of Ocon in the final standings, meeting his own pre-season target of 100 points, yet the Frenchman had arguably made the bigger impression at Force India through his first full season in F1.

Force India remains the top underdog in F1 with Perez spearheading its charge, but it is difficult to see either taking the final step to becoming true contenders at the front of the field anytime soon, as solid as their displays have been.

Season High: P4 in Spain after retirements for the ‘big three’.

Season Low: Losing a sure-fire podium, if not a win, in Baku after contact with Ocon.