Will we see more F1 drivers at IndyCar, and who are the best candidates?

As Colton Herta was denied the superlicence that would allow him to move up to Formula 1 (and Alex Palou continues to ponder his possible future), there has recently been talk of traffic heading in the opposite direction of the motorway of racing career.

IndyCar’s appeal has grown in the Formula 1 paddock, driven primarily by the American series’ ability to add additional cars to the field if the stars and the money line up correctly, which cannot be done on the globetrotter. series.

And while drivers enjoy IndyCar’s less demanding schedule and more relaxed environment, perhaps most appealing is the chance to be in a car with a chance to win.

More than 20 Formula 1 races have seen just four different drivers claim the winner’s trophy this year, and no one in the rest of the field has the slightest chance of overtaking the two Red Bulls or the two Ferraris without abnormal interference of fate.

By contrast, IndyCar has had nine different winners in its 17 races this year, and seven others have at least finished on the podium (Formula 1 has had three additional drivers who finished in the top three).

So here’s a look at the possibilities for some of the current F1 drivers to move into full-time racing in North America:

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Daniel Ricardo – Despite currently being unemployed for 2023, so far an IndyCar move has been a firm ‘no’ for the America-loving Aussie. Ricciardo said that ovals are “too scary” and is currently trying to salvage his Formula 1 career – although he is coming off a dreadful season at 33, his time may be running out.

So for a driver who has made a sudden decision to change teams in the past, it’s hard to completely rule out a change in career direction. Perhaps more likely for next year is a NASCAR appearance (on a road course) with Ricciardo having already been approached for Trackhouse Racing’s “Project 91”the team’s attempt to open the series to overseas fans.

Former Formula 1 and Indy 500 champion Jacques Villeneuve also mentioned plans to race in NASCARpossibly full-time, although with which team is currently unknown.

Nicholas Latifi – The Canadian is also out of a job in Formula 1 for next year and has been the subject of rumors of a move to IndyCar. While Latifi denied any sort of deal having been signed, he did not rule out the possibility, and if he chooses, his family’s money could fund any car on the IndyCar grid that is currently financially short-term. Stay tuned.

Sebastian Vettel – Vettel announced his retirement from Formula 1 with a main reason being the time of focus on family, and he’s unlikely to hold a full-time position on a series. Vettel seems to have a fan in IndyCar’s Graham Rahal, who has do some campaigning for the quadruple world champion to do at least one lap in one of his team’s cars. Vettel has showed some admiration for the Road America circuit, so it is not impossible that he accepts Rahal on his offer.

Valtteri Bottas – Bottas will spend his second year at Alfa Romeo 2023, but with the team set to undergo substantial changes over the next few years, the future is uncertain for the 33-year-old driver. Bottas has had some positive things to say about IndyCar recently, and the popular driver would be a nice addition to the series somewhere down the road.

As for other possibilities in the future? Lando Norris has spoken of making plans outside of Formula 1 with the McLaren organization, but although he watches the Indy 500 and admires the drivershe’s not sure if it’s a challenge he’s up for (but there is plenty of time).

Fernando Alonso isn’t a fan of how the DW12 works with the aeroscreen, and says another hit at the Brickyard is “not a complete no, but I’d say it’s less of a draft.”

Sergio Perez says he would like to attempt the Indy 500 after his Formula 1 career is over, which is probably a long way off.

Prior to getting his current job at Williams, Alex Albon had considered a move to IndyCarand may revisit the idea at the end of his stay at his current home.

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