‘It’s a deal’: Sebastian Vettel offered IndyCar drive

Sebastian Vettel said after the Miami Grand Prix that he would prefer to race at some "proper tracks."

IndyCar driver Graham Rahal has responded to Sebastian Vettel’s comment about Road America by saying that he is sure there is room for another participant in the American series.

Having completed the race in Miami last weekend, Vettel indicated that he would like Formula 1 to visit a more authentic circuit after the Miami Autodrome around the Hard Rock Stadium received plenty of criticism from the drivers.

IndyCar visits a variety of different circuit types such as street tracks, road circuits and ovals, including famous names such as Indianapolis, Long Beach and Mid-Ohio.

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The 34-year-old conceded that he is not too sure how the fans would feel about watching a race at Road America, but from a personal perspective he would love taking part in it.

“Going to Road America, for certainly the money that was spent to build this, could have easily brought the standard up in great places like Road America,” he said. 

“And from a driving point of view, I think they would be a lot more thrilling.

“From a fans’ point of view I think that’s difficult for me to judge because the last time I sat in the grandstand to watch a race was in 2001. A long time ago and yeah, every fan is different. So it’s more for the fans in a way to decide.

“But certainly from a racing and driving thrill, I’d love to go to proper tracks.”

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Rahal, who has won four IndyCar races and claimed victory at the 2011 24 hours of Daytona, would love to welcome Vettel into his Rahal Letterman Lanigan team for a test.

“I’ll double down and say it, Seb if you ever want to test an IndyCar at Road America, we will make it happen. Would be an honour to have you in our car!” he tweeted, adding “it’s a deal if you wish!”

Vettel seemed relatively surprised by the offer, but expressed his interest in having a go at the circuit in an IndyCar challenger.

“I need to have a look. But it’s a great track, so let’s see,” he stated.

Rahal notes that some rival teams would not be impressed at the car being given a one-off test, but he indicates that it would be vindicated if the German then partakes in one or two races.

“I think other teams would try and question it or cry foul if we did test Vettel,” he said. 

“But if he then did a race or two, the series does grant you those rookie days. And I’d like to think IndyCar would be happy for a top-rated Formula 1 driver and World Champion to test one of our cars.”

An IndyCar appearance would not be the first time Vettel has dabbled in something new after he was given a ride by Stig Blomqvist in his 1984 Rally Championship winning Audi Quattro S1.

Having had a run-in with a fake Stig at the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix, the four-time champion revelled in the opportunity to share a car with the “proper” one.

“More than that. I think the car is iconic, but then to have the chance to ride with the Stig – and the proper one not the made-up one – has been really cool,” he told the Race.

“I’m very grateful that Stig still does these types of events and then I was begging to get into the car and I used the opportunity to go side by side.

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“It was magical in many ways. So I really enjoyed it.”

Vettel failed to finish the Miami Grand Prix after contact with Haas’ Mick Schumacher, which the 34-year-old said was “stupid” on the part of both of them.