IndyCar star makes Max Verstappen ‘joke’ claim

Will Power suggested Formula 1 would benefit from a level playing field like IndyCar, as Red Bull continues to dominate its rivals.

Will Power, a prominent figure in the IndyCar series, has criticised the lack of a level playing field in Formula 1, labelling it a “joke” and expressing sympathy for the drivers who have to endure both the lack of competition and the political landscape within the sport.

Formula 1 is widely regarded as the pinnacle of motorsport, where top drivers and teams compete to field the best combinations in their quest for championship glory. However, this has often led to prolonged periods of one-team domination, with Red Bull and Mercedes trading the top spot since 2010.

While the 2021 season witnessed an intense battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, with both drivers delivering a historic title fight, the current season has seen Red Bull regain their dominance. 

Verstappen has claimed five out of the seven races so far, positioning himself for a third consecutive title, while his teammate has taken the other two P1 finishes.

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In contrast, IndyCar operates as a “spec series,” where drivers compete using the same chassis, theoretically creating an equal arena. 

Power believes that Formula 1 would be greatly improved if all drivers had access to a dominant car like the Red Bull RB19. However, he acknowledges that this is not the case.

Power expressed his frustration, stating: “Formula 1’s a joke as far as competition, but not as far as drivers. 

“They have amazing drivers. And I feel sorry for them that they don’t get to experience the satisfaction we do with our racing because that is the top level of open-wheel motorsport.”

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He further suggested that Formula 1 would benefit from adopting a formula similar to IndyCar, highlighting the excitement it would bring to spectators if every driver had a car of equal performance. 

Power mentioned the predictability of races when a dominant car is involved, noting that drivers such as Hamilton, Alonso, Norris, and Russell must feel frustrated by the current situation.

“I think Formula One would be so much better if they had a formula like IndyCar. I love the technology and the manufacturer side of it. I think that’s awesome. But from a spectator watching, man, how cool would it be if everyone had a Red Bull?

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“You simply know Max is going to win every race if something doesn’t go wrong. Imagine being a guy coming out as a rookie, and you probably could win a race. It would be really cool to see. But you know that would never happen with the politics over there.”

While Power acknowledges the appeal of Formula 1’s technology and manufacturer involvement, he believes that the sport would be more captivating if every driver had an equal opportunity to win. In his view, the current scenario, where the best teams possess superior machinery, diminishes the thrill of the championship.

However, a spec-series approach is unlikely to materialise in Formula 1 due to the intricate politics involved. Although the series has implemented measures to create a more competitive grid, such as budget caps and overtaking-focused regulations, providing identical cars for all teams remains highly improbable.