Drivers giving up on F1 wet dream, eye IndyCar
Young driver after young driver in Europe, all of whom have to buy their way into F1 with a minimum of $10 million (for the worse seat on the grid) are now realizing that F1 is just a wet dream and are now eyeing the more economical IndyCar series. In addition it appears a number of F1 teams are about to go belly-up and that will require drivers to bring even more money. It is not a sustainable model.
In recent days Sam Bird, Jack Harvey, Conor Daly, the Carlin team, Mike Conway, Luca Filippi, and others already have or are starting to eye IndyCar. Karun Chandhok is the latest.
“The money you need to go to Formula 1 these days is almost an impossibility, and so I'm looking at IndyCar,” he told Racer.com. “I was open to the idea last year, actually, and spoke with a couple of teams. Right now, it's a question of time to get the sponsors in place, and possibly dipping my toe in the water by putting together a road course program and the Indy 500.”
Chandhok, who also does television commentary in the UK, hopes to pull from resources in India and elsewhere to assemble the necessary funding for an IndyCar campaign.
“We're trying to put sponsors together and looking at the right teams,” he added. “Even Tony Kanaan and Rubens Barrichello have had to bring money; it's a sign of the market, isn't it? I have some marketing agencies looking at sponsorship options over the next few weeks. I don't have anything to mention yet; I'm still in a fact-finding phase, so to speak.”
Having seen pace and rising fortunes of a few former competitors who've moved stateside, Chandhok appears to be drawn to IndyCar's relatively even playing field.
“A lot of my contemporaries – Mike Conway, E.J. Viso, and now Luca Filippi, my peers in F3 and GP2, are competitive again by going across the pond and have been very strong in IndyCar, so I think any driver who has won races in GP2 can race and be competitive in IndyCar,” he concluded.