IndyCar drivers who have tested F1 cars – Pictures
This is just for fun, pictures of IndyCar drivers who have at some point tested an F1 car sometime during their career:
Marco Andretti – Honda F1 – 2006
This test was a reward to Marco Andretti for winning the IndyCar Rookie of the Year in 2006. Would be nice if there was still a Honda team around to give these IndyCar drivers an F1 test once in a while again. Marco has previously said that he wouldn’t think about moving to Formula One until he’s won the Indianapolis 500.
Townsend Bell – Jaguar Racing – 2003
There was a point in time where Townsend Bell was America’s next big F1 hope after having a decent year in F3000 and testing for BAR Honda and Jaguar but nothing came out of it for the San Francisco native.
Sébastien Bourdais – Arrows Grand Prix – 2002
Like Bell before, Seb Bourdais was once touted as France’s next big Formula One driver and after winning F3000, he tested for the likes of Arrows and Renault. The move to Arrows never happened due to the issues they faced and nothing happened for him with Renault. He would end up getting that F1 chance with Toro Rosso in 2008 after winning four straight ChampCar titles but it didn’t work out for him.
Ryan Briscoe – Toyota F1 – 2004
Ryan Briscoe was once part of the Toyota F1 young driver’s program having joined them in 2001 and testing for them since 2002 and was promoted as the third and reserve driver in 2004. When Toyota announced that they would supply engines to Jordan Grand Prix, Briscoe was given the opportunity to drive for them but he opted for Ganassi Racing in IndyCar. Eight years on, Briscoe will re-join Ganassi for the 2013 Indianapolis 500.
Mike Conway – Brawn Grand Prix – 2009
Like Briscoe before, Mike Conway was once part of the Honda young driver program and was promoted as a test driver for Honda Grand Prix in 2007 along with his GP2 program. He was considered for the Super Aguri drive at one point but nothing came of it. He tested for Brawn GP in 2009 after his first year in IndyCar but stayed in America after that.
Scott Dixon – Williams F1 – 2004
Having won the IndyCar championship the year before, Dixon was given a chance to test the Williams car in 2004 with a possible chance for a drive in 2005. Nothing came up for him likely due to his poor performance from the test session.
Sarah Fisher – McLaren Mercedes – 2002
During the 2002 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis, Fisher was given a chance to test the McLaren car in between the friday practice session in what was just a promotional test.
Dario Franchitti – Jaguar Racing – 2000
Dario Franchitti actually had his first F1 test with McLaren in 1995 thanks to winning the McLaren award and waited another five years for a proper F1 test with Jaguar performing test sessions for Jaguar under his mentor Sir Jackie Stewart but he couldn’t secure a race seat with the team. His cousin Paul di Resta races for Force India F1 these days.
Bryan Herta – Minardi F1 – 2002
Herta got a chance to test for Minardi and was even considered to replace Alex Yoong for a few races in 2002 but that role went to Anthony Davidson.
JR Hildebrand – Force India F1 – 2009
After winning the 2009 Indy Lights championship and running a number of races for Team USA in A1GP and was given a chance to test with Force India F1 before moving back to the States.
Tony Kanaan – BAR Honda – 2005
Tony Kanaan was given a chance to test the BAR Honda car in 2005 as a prize for winning the 2004 IndyCar championship with Honda. There was a small rumor of him moving to F1 but he had a contract with Andretti-Green till 2008 meaning that was never going to happen.
Katherine Legge – Minardi F1 – 2005
Katherine Legge became the first female to test an F1 car since Fisher in 2002 when she was given a chance to test for Minardi in one of their last few test sessions in F1. After crashing after just two laps, she was given a second day and did alright before moving to the States to race in ChampCar.
Alex Lloyd – McLaren Mercedes – 2004
The prize for winning the 2003 McLaren Autosport Award was a first F1 test for Alex Lloyd who tested the car with Jamie Green and Lewis Hamilton. He would move on to America with limited chances in Europe.
Will Power – Minardi F1 – 2004
Will Power and Will Davison were both given a test with Minardi by compatriot Paul Stoddart and both guys did well before moving to A1GP and World Series by Renault. Will (Power that is), would move over to the States with not much chances for him to move up the ladder in Europe.
Graham Rahal – BMW Sauber – 2008
This wasn’t actually a test session but a demo run in the United States with Graham Rahal getting a rare chance to drive a Formula One car even if it’s just a demo run. Still the only time Rahal has driven an F1 car in his career.
Takuma Sato – Scuderia Toro Rosso – 2008
Many will know that Taku came from F1 to IndyCar and that he raced for the likes of Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri but many may not know is that he actually tested for Scuderia Toro Rosso in 2008 in the hopes of finding his way back to F1 after Super Aguri left. Sato didn’t make his way back to the grid but would end up moving to IndyCar.
Tomas Scheckter – Jaguar Racing – 2001
After a few years in the main European junior series, Scheckter was hired by Jaguar Racing as a test driver for the 2001 season but he was fired for an embarrassing incident even before the year ended. He moved to the States the year later.
Oriol Servia – Prost Grand Prix – 2000
Servia moved to the States after winning a few F3 championships and won the 1999 Indy Lights championship. He would end up testing for the Prost Grand Prix during 2000-2001 but nothing came out of those tests and stayed in the States ever since.
Paul Tracy – Benetton F1 – 1994
Paul Tracy made a quick impact in IndyCar, winning races in his first full season and finishing 3rd in his first two full season campaigns in IndyCar. He got the chance to test for F1 champions Benetton in 1994 and that was his only test in F1.
EJ Viso – Spyker F1 – 2006
For a while, it looked as if EJ Viso would be Venezuela’s best hope in Formula One. A race winner in GP in 2006, he was given the chance to test the Spyker F1 car during the Brazilian Grand Prix. Two years later he moved to the States.
Justin Wilson – Jordan F1 – 2001
Those who follow F1 will remember that Justin Wilson drove for Minardi and Jaguar in 2003 but some may not know that he tested for Jordan F1 back in 2001. He showed his speed there and got his F1 chance but couldn’t stay due to lack of sponsorship money and moved to the States the next year.