There has been much debate over which championship is better from a racing standpoint. IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden explains why F1 isn’t as appealing.
Josef Newgarden is a double IndyCar champion, winning both his titles with Team Penske in 2017 and 2019. Newgarden has also driven in other championships but has found most of his success in the American open-wheel tournament.
The American driver competed in GP3, driving for Carlin in 2010. Newgarden scored points only thrice while driving for the team and finished 18th in the championship. Despite this, he was widely regarded as a potential talent in F1.
Newgarden started to compete in IndyCar in 2012, where he found considerable success. The American has secured 20 race wins as well as two titles.
Josef has expressed his interest in driving an F1 car but maintains that is where his interest finishes as well. He isn’t inclined to become a full-time F1 driver.
The drivers have been getting a closer look at the 2022 #F1 car, designed specifically to promote better racing… who’s keen?
— Channel 4 F1® (@C4F1) July 16, 2021
The aerodynamic complexities of F1 cars make for less competitive racing, as per the 31-year-old driver. On the other hand, the simplicity of the IndyCar machinery allows closer racing. It also creates opportunities to drive on both ovals and street circuits.
“For me the allure of F1 I think is the gravity of the cars,” said Newgarden at the Pre-season Media day.
“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,” explained the American.
Newgarden’s disenchantment with F1
Formula 1 is a championship that relies very heavily on the car rather than just the driver. This is one of the main reasons why many, including Newgarden, prefer other alternatives.
“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.”
“It doesn’t look as much of a driver’s championship to me.”
His opinion still does not change the fact that the American would like to get behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car once.
“It’s a very impressive championship, it always has been. 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.”
Josef’s theory of F1 being a constructor’s championship more than the drivers might have some truth. The last season of IndyCar produced nine different race winners compared to its European counterpart, which had only six. Newgarden himself won two races last season.
The pinnacle of motorsport isn’t competitive enough
“I think IndyCar is really where you’re going to get the most competitive product as a racing driver,” Josef reiterated.
“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.”