With a little more than one month to go until the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 25, deals to bring the Verizon IndyCar Series field to 33 cars haven’t yet been finalized.
Here’s where things stand at the moment, with a breakdown of the 29 confirmed driver/car combinations made by engine manufacturers, and the second Dale Coyne car with driver TBA (not this TBA):
Andretti Autosport (5): No. 25 Marco Andretti, No. 27 James Hinchcliffe, No. 28 Ryan Hunter-Reay, No. 34 Carlos Munoz, No. 26 Kurt Busch-R
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (3): No. 7 Mikhail Aleshin-R, No. 77 Simon Pagenaud, No. 5 Jacques Villeneuve-W
A.J. Foyt Racing (2): 14 Takuma Sato, No. 41 Martin Plowman-R
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (2): 15 Graham Rahal, 16 Oriol Servia
Dale Coyne Racing (2): No. 18 TBA, No. 19 Justin Wilson
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (2): No. 67 Josef Newgarden, No. 68 Alex Tagliani
Bryan Herta Autosport (1): No. 98 Jack Hawksworth-R
Chip Ganassi Racing (4): No. 8 Ryan Briscoe, No. 9 Scott Dixon-W, No. 10 Tony Kanaan-W, No. 83 Charlie Kimball
Team Penske (3): No. 2 Juan Pablo Montoya-W, No. 3 Helio Castroneves-W, No. 12 Will Power
KVSH/KF AFS Racing (2): No. 11 Sebastien Bourdais, No. 17 Sebastian Saavedra, 6-Townsend Bell
Ed Carpenter Racing (2): No. 20 Ed Carpenter, No. 21 JR Hildebrand
Lazier Partners Racing (1): No. 91 Buddy Lazier-W
Time is running out to fill the final four spots, and add either a fifth or sixth to make 34 or 35 cars and open the potential for bumping.
Dale Coyne Racing will have a second car (Car No. 18) as mentioned above and a third car is still very possible. Those two would bring Honda’s number of potential engine leases up to 18, which is the likely maximum for the race per a Honda spokesman. If both of those entries happen, that makes 31 cars.
Diaz (right) is another prototype class veteran, with recent PC experience (8Star Motorsports and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports) added to his LMP2 days with Fernandez Racing.
All three of them also competed in Champ Car World Series races in Mexico City, with Gonzalez and Diaz part of a six-Mexican driver entry in the 2003 race (Adrian Fernandez, Michel Jourdain Jr., Mario Dominguez and Rodolfo Lavin).
Ricardo Gonzalez co-drives the No. 43 RGR Sport Ligier JS P2 Nissan with Bruno Senna and Filipe Albuquerque in the WEC.
Around two-thirds of the Formula E grid also race in the WEC, with the two championships preventing clashes so that drivers do not have to pick between them. As a result, it seems inevitable that one of the races will have to change date.
Jolyon Palmer felt “gutted” after a likely top-10 finish in Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix was lost following a spin in the closing stages, costing him his first Formula 1 points.
2014 GP2 champion Palmer joined Renault for its return to F1 as a constructor in 2016, but arrived in Hungary without a point to his name from the opening 10 races of the season.
Palmer was left disappointed on Saturday after a red flag knocked him out of qualifying at the first hurdle, but a long first stint brought him into contention for points.
Palmer moved into the top 10 after jumping Nico Hulkenberg in the pits, only for Renault’s hard work to be undone when he spun off at Turn 4, losing three positions in the process.
The Briton was ultimately classified 12th after Esteban Gutierrez’s time penalty, extending his points drought to 11 races.
“I’m gutted as my first points in Formula 1 were there for the taking,” Palmer said.
“The car was good and I was driving well within myself in P10. I turned in the same as normal at turn four – I wasn’t hanging everything out and I was looking after the tires – but for some reason I lost the car in a massive snap.
“I need to look at everything with my engineers to see if there is anything we could have done to prevent it.
“I was running tenth, we had completed all our pit stops, we had good pace relative to those ahead and behind so it looks like we’ve made a real step forward this weekend.
“It was the best drive of my career today and just one small spin took away those points.
“I’m gutted today but I’ll be fighting to get in the same position or better in Hockenheim.”