RACING

Vettel could expect ‘difficult transition’ to IndyCar

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During speculation in the spring that Vettel would end his F1 career, RLL founder and co-owner Bobby Rahal remarked that he would like to let the German ace test one of his RLL-Hondas. Since then, the Aston Martin driver has announced that 2022 will be his last season in F1.

Former F2 driver and F1 test driver Lundgaard, who was today confirmed to have signed a new multi-year IndyCar contract with RLL, was asked what he thought of the idea of ​​Vettel trying a IndyCar.

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“I think it would be cool for Sebastian to drive an IndyCar, honestly. I’ve driven Formula 1 cars. I’ve tested quite a few days with Renault. So for me, I’ll say it as it is: for me , it was personally the easiest car I’ve ever driven. It’s easy to drive to some extent.

“And the reason we see Formula 1 being, I would say, split at the front of the pack and then the midfield is extremely close is that the car is very easy to drive up to a certain limit. Then finding that half second to one second is what’s hard Because the car has so much downforce it’s going to stick, right?

“So I think Sebastian comes in here and tries a car that you have to hustle, you have to work the car, and… the car doesn’t drive you, you drive the car – I think it’s going to be a rough patch. But I honestly think there will be a lot of F1 drivers that I would like to try in IndyCar.”

Lundgaard, who scored his first IndyCar podium last month at the Indianapolis road course, spoke highly of two drivers he believes would be strong if they followed his lead and made the jump from F2 to the IndyCar. One was current points leader Felipe Drugovich and the other was Marcus Armstrong, who had two wins this year.

“I think looking at Felipe, he’s done a really good job this year,” said the 20-year-old Dane. “He’s had a very, very good start to the season, which has put him in this position to be able to score points and still keep the championship lead.

“I was a teammate with Marcus in 2020 in F2. I know he had a very difficult year that year, but I know Marcus is a good driver. I know he can hustle a car too. I don’t know much about Felipe overall, but I think Marcus would definitely be able to be quick.

“The problem with IndyCar is that you have to be fast every time, and that’s tough. I think the transition to ovals is tough.

Regarding the good performances shown by himself and another former F2 racer/F1 tester/IndyCar rookie, Callum Ilott, in this year’s IndyCar championship, Lundgaard said: “I would say the Dallara link is a factor. important, but I think coming from Pirelli tires over Firestone tires has been a big plus for Callum and I, because I think we have experience with tire economy and tire maintenance, because Pirelli tires are tough. [to deal with]. They are very difficult to understand, and from one track to another it is also different.

“Here I think the Firestones can handle a lot more so you can actually push the tyres. good work, being quick, but now I think it helped our racing craft a lot more. But when you see it, I think we also qualified pretty well.

“I think the cars don’t drive radically differently. I think IndyCar is capable of pushing more. There is a slight slip. The biggest difference for me I think would come from the tyres, but the car handles pretty much the same. It’s a little different, but it’s not radically different.

Lundgaard also said he derives great satisfaction from the tough but reasonably friendly racing atmosphere within the IndyCar paddock.

“I don’t think there’s been a whole lot that I haven’t really liked about IndyCar so far,” he remarked. “There will always be decisions that you hoped to have [been] different from many people, whether it’s the marshals or the race director, et cetera, track changes and stuff like that.

“But I think overall, as I’ve said many times when I moved here and got the question, ‘What’s the difference between Europe and America?’ for me it’s about the racing. It’s more about the racing than the politics and so on. What I love about IndyCar is the feeling I have here, it’s the feeling that I had when I fell in love with karts. You put the car on the ground, you race and have fun. But you’re in competition, and once the helmet is off, everyone’s best friend: you don’t don’t see that in Europe.

“Life is good for me in America, I prefer it here. Obviously I miss my family and friends, etc., but I’m sure there will come a time when they will visit me.

“Just everything about sports here is preferred for me.”

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