IndyCar driver explains why Formula 1 is ‘not appealing’

Josef Newgarden won his two IndyCar championships with Team Penske in 2017 and 2019.

IndyCar driver Josef Newgarden has said that he would like to try out a Formula 1 car, but the championship does not appeal to him as much as racing in America.

Back in 2010, Newgarden raced for the Carlin team in GP3 and was viewed as one of the potential future stars of Formula 1.

However, he scored points on just three occasions and ended 18th in the Drivers’ Championship.

This preceded the beginning of his IndyCar career in 2012, and he has since claimed 20 race wins as well as two championships in 2017 and 2019 with Team Penske.

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The IndyCar machines feature far less aerodynamic complexities than those in F1, which means there is significantly less downforce in the series which sees drivers take to both ovals and road courses.

The genius minds that go behind the design and manufacture of an F1 car are something the 31-year-old admires.

“For me the allure of F1 I think is the gravity of the cars,” he said at the NTT IndyCar pre season media day, as quoted by Autoweek.

“When I think about F1, I think about a manufacturers championship, trying to build the quickest cars that you can within – I should say within an unreasonable budget. That’s what was exciting about it,” he explained.

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However, the fact that Formula 1 is, in his eyes, more centred around the cars than the drivers is something that would disenchant him.

“The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve been in racing and watched Formula 1, I don’t know it’s somewhere I really want to race,” he said.

“It doesn’t look as much of a driver’s championship to me.”

Having said that, the American would love to drive an F1 car at some stage.

“It’s a very impressive championship, it always has been,” he stated.

“It’s something I would certainly like to do.

“I’d like to drive everything that I could to have the experience. Then I’d have more first-hand knowledge to really speak on it.”

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There were nine different winners in IndyCar last season, as opposed to six in F1.

Newgarden won two races last year, and sees IndyCar as better competition than its mainly European counterpart.

“I think IndyCar is really where you’re going to get the most competitive product as a racing driver,” he maintains.

“When you’re a driver at the top level, you want to have an opportunity to compete, to win the championship, to win big races regardless of your situation.

“I think unfortunately that’s not present in Formula 1. So from that standpoint, it’s not as appealing. But I’d never say never on anything. You just never know how this stuff shifts.”

Max Verstappen and Sir Lewis Hamilton claimed 18 wins between them last year, and the Dutchman defeated the Briton to the title in a chaotic end to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that followed a dramatic season of racing.

Mercedes beat Red Bull to the Constructors’ Championship, winning their recording-breaking eighth straight title.

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