Zanardi Runs First CART Test Since F1 Leave

Without a ride since his 1999 Formula One season at Williams, Alex Zanardi is playing himself back into ChampCars. The two-time CART champion is participating in a two-day test at Sebring, USA, for Mo Nunn Racing and after the first day Zanardi says it's good to be back behind the wheel.

Zanardi Runs First CART Test Since F1 Leave

Without a ride since his 1999 Formula One season at Williams, Alex Zanardi is playing himself back into ChampCars. The two-time CART champion is participating in a two-day test at Sebring, USA, for Mo Nunn Racing and after the first day Zanardi says it's good to be back behind the wheel.

"I'm doing really well. I'm also suddenly having a lot of fun," said Zanardi. "The passion hasn't gone. It's nice to find such a nice car to come back to after a period of vacation. I call it a vacation because it was my decision not to engage myself in any other thing after the Williams period. So, it's really good to be back."

At the end of the first day of driving, Zanardi said it was still too early to tell how things will shake out. "I'm amazed although the circuit today is really green and we haven't gotten to the point yet where I can say I have personalized the car. The way it is set up, I'm surprised by how much grip this car has in the corners compared to a Formula One car with those grooved tires. This is a car you can play with. Maybe I went over the line already ... I spun three times. I have no reason in the world that I should be pushing over the limit, but how else can you explain that I spun three times already other than that I'm having fun.

"Do I sound like I'm having the time of my life? I'll need to win another race, another championship, before I can say that for sure. But, certainly, I'm doing today what I've loved to do in so many years of my career. To have a break as long as I did, and to come back to a good car to drive, with big friends all around me, is fun. I have the time to chat with them, have some fun."

Zanardi placed no significance to the fact that his old team (Chip Ganassi Racing) would be in Sebring during the test. "Sebring is quite representative of what you find on your (CART) calendar," said Zanardi. "A little bit of everything. This is a good place to test and to get back into a race car for me.

"Physically, I've been doing things at home, but never enough. The best thing to do in this business is to drive the car. I'm quite surprised that I'm feeling in great shape. Obviously, to do a race would be much different than testing. But I'm doing really well."

shares
comments
Coulthard crash: sabotage claims 'unlikely'

Previous article

Coulthard crash: sabotage claims 'unlikely'

Next article

Blundell: 'I'd choose Montoya'

Blundell: 'I'd choose Montoya'
Load comments
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021