It’s fair to say Christian Lundgaard has adapted quickly to his new car. 4th in his maiden IndyCar qualifying session and 12th in the race, the Alpine Academy driver, familiar to Formula 2 cars for nearly two years now, had to learn all the details of the Dallara IR18 in a very short period of time. He compares the two.
By Perceval Wolff
Indeed, the 20-year-old Dane only had a single test session at Barber Motorsports Park last July, where he finally found out IndyCar and F2 cars are pretty close. “Obviously the F2 car and the IndyCar are both built by Dallara. I think some of it is very similar. Just the way the car drives is not really that different.
“I also think that’s why I got comfortable so quickly. […] I mean, a race car is a race car. So for me it’s just about finding the limit of that car. It seems like I’ve found that pretty quickly.”
Even though the new Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing driver has had to learn nearly everything about IndyCar, he is enjoying his time with his new machine, which is quicker than his F2 car: “I love to drive whatever car it is. The faster the better.”
Despite the similarities between the two cars, the Alpine Academy driver emphasized the fact that he still had much to learn about the Firestone tyres, which are rather different compared to the F2 Pirelli tyres where he needed several warm up laps to maximize their potential.
“I think the drivers probably won’t agree with me because they want the tyres to come in faster. These tyres come in a lot quicker than what I’m used to. […] You basically have to push as hard as you can going straight out of the box.
“I think I’ll be struggling with getting straight out of the box and being sure I’m at the right braking point because I haven’t got used to that because it’s nothing that I’ve done before. That will probably be something to learn.”
One of the other major differences between F2 and IndyCar is the race lengthWhile Formula 2 races last up to an hour, IndyCar races can last up to two hours. But in hindsight Lundgaard had nothing to worry about.
“For F2 we do three races a weekend, two sprint races of 45 minutes, then a feature race of an hour. I mean, F2 and IndyCar are pretty similar in terms of steering weight. Physically I’m fine.”
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