Age is just a number. Forty-seven-year old former F1 driver Jean Alesi, who is Group Lotus brand ambassador, is set to make his return to competitive racing with Lotus in next year’s Indy 500.

Despite his wealth of experience, it’ll be Alesi’s first outing in tackling competitive oval racing. His most recent competitive race appearance was last year, in the Le Mans Series. Alesi joined Group Lotus as a brand ambassador in January this year and was the development consultant on the F1 customer race car, the T125.

His development role with Group Lotus will see him preparing for next May’s race, in which he will be competing in a Lotus powered by the new Lotus IndyCar engine. Development of the 2.2l twin turbo V6 is going to schedule, with the first engine fire up set for mid-October and track testing planned for December.

“I’m thrilled that Lotus has given me the opportunity to compete in such a world famous race. It’s going to be a very special experience for me, but I also know that I have a lot of hard work ahead. I’m very focused on the task I’m facing – I’m taking my training very seriously, I have some amazing support on this front from a ‘comeback’ expert and of course I will be testing extensively. I’m really excited about the race,” Alesi said.