IndyCar, Not Formula 1, is the Best Racing Series in the World


IndyCar, Not Formula 1, is the Best Racing Series in the World

Formula 1

IndyCar, Not Formula 1, is the Best Racing Series in the World



Formula 1 is the biggest sports league in the world. No sport crosses the world like it; no sport attracts a global audience of nearly 200 million viewers weekly, and no sport does glitz and glamor like Formula 1. But is Formula 1 the best racing series in the world? Well, anyone that watches the IndyCar series will disagree. And they are right. Currently, IndyCar, not Formula 1, is the best racing series in the world. 


IndyCar is The Most Competitive Series

IndyCar thrives on high-octane, highly competitive on-track racing. Through the opening four races of the season, four different drivers have won races. Across those four races, three teams have won. 

In Formula 1, the dominant Red Bull Racing team has won all four races in 2023, and they have won 15 of the last 16 races. At Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix, Max Verstappen started in ninth place, won the race, and finished over 50 seconds ahead of Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, which started in seventh place. While every Formula 1 race’s outcome feels inevitable, IndyCar events are genuine mysteries all weekend. Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing, Andretti Autosport, and Arrow McLaren are all genuine contenders in every race. 

IndyCar’s competitive balance is the series’ ace in the hole. With all teams using the same DW12 chassis, there is no threat of big-budget squads running away with the championship. In the last decade, no driver has won back-to-back IndyCar championships. In Formula 1, the last 10 years have seen just three drivers win the title, and two of those drivers have won championships in consecutive seasons. The facts do not lie. IndyCar is the world’s closest premier racing series. However, it is not just competitive races and championships that IndyCar provides. 

IndyCar Provides Exhilarating On-Track Racing

With the latest generation of race cars so close in performance, IndyCar delivers breathtaking, heart-pounding action. Unlike other series, IndyCar thrives on all styles of racetracks. Whether on a short oval like Iowa Motor Speedway, a temporary street circuit at Long Beach, or the conventional racetracks of Road America, Laguna Seca, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the cars and drivers can race close at 100%. 

The recent Alabama Grand Prix featured 175 on-track overtakes, including a fierce battle between Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin and ex-Formula 1 racer Romain Grosjean. It was a wild duel on a rollercoaster racetrack. Young former Formula 2 stars Marcus Armstrong and Callum Ilott managed to fight their way from the back into points-paying positions. Up and down the grid, there are big battles. 

Furthermore, IndyCar is adept at making regulation or setup changes to improve racing. Historically, Texas Motor Speedway has proved challenging to race on. Notorious for being dirty and slippery off-line, Texas was known for single-file, one-track racing. 

This year, the IndyCar management implemented more tweaks to improve the race. The series allowed teams to create bespoke setups for qualifying and the race, rather than forcing teams into a locked configuration after practice. IndyCar also added another practice session, a ‘rubbering-in’ session. The purpose was to give drivers more time to lay down grippy Firestone rubber and ensure that drivers could race off-line and attack. Ally that to various aerodynamic tweaks to the diffuser and bargeboard, and the PPG Texas 375 was a thrill-a-minute shootout. With over 400 overtakes and 26 lead changes, cars could race in packs, and drivers could use all of the track to attack. It was a visceral, ferocious race that showcased IndyCar racing at its finest. The series does not need gimmicks to spice up the show. 

Lastly, IndyCar races always throw up different strategies. With refueling and tire strategies to fathom, IndyCar races provide a strategic element and force teams and drivers to work races out on the fly. The race at Alabama was the perfect advertisement for that, as the three-stopping Penske cars raced through the two-stopping teams. 


The Series Has Soul

IndyCar’s heartland is the Midwest. With races in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Illinois, IndyCar’s big races boast a charmful, warm atmosphere. It is a far cry from the glitz and A-list feel that Formula 1 has, but that is not a bad thing. IndyCar still embraces its roots and offers fans authentic entertainment. Tickets are affordable, and trackside fans are at the forefront of the weekend. 

At this year’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, over half the track will be accessible for free. Last week, reigning series champion Will Power was in Detroit, unveiling unique murals designed by students from the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan. Moreover, the Detroit Grand Prix will be the most environmentally friendly race in IndyCar history. The organizers have reiterated wanting to give back to the Detroit community. 

Organizers of the HyVee IndyCar Weekend did the same at last year’s doubleheader at Iowa. The organizers provided a family-friendly, fan-first environment across the weekend. 

In an era dominated by other entertainment options, and other sports, IndyCar is pushing to create the best possible weekends for TV viewers and fans in the grandstands. 

The cars are not the leaders of cutting-edge technology like Formula 1 cars are, but IndyCars are still violently fast and still possess that classic feel. While F1 cars have gotten heavier, longer, and wider, IndyCars are still light, elegant, and aggressive. When two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso jumped into an IndyCar in 2017, he remarked how simple and pure it felt compared to an Formula 1 car. The racecars ooze soul and speed. And unlike Formula 1’s muzzled V6 turbo-hybrid engines, IndyCars still scream through a race. 


IndyCar Is The Series You Need to Watch

IndyCar will never match the glamor and showbiz element that Formula 1 has. But IndyCar does not need to. If you want a raw, competitive series raced on a diverse group of tracks featuring some of the best young talents, IndyCar is the series to watch. It has passion, soul, and a great story. The drivers are not as famous as their Formula 1 counterparts, but they are incredibly skillful, fast, and have plenty of pedigree. 

Kiwi Scott Dixon shunned Formula 1 test driver roles in the early 2000s to chase his IndyCar dream. He now has six driver championships. California’s Colton Herta is the series’ youngest-ever winner and was teammates with Lando Norris in junior categories. Alexander Rossi, Callum Ilott, Christian Lundgaard, and Marcus Armstrong are all former Formula 2 race winners. Romain Grosjean was an ever-present in Formula 1 for a decade. As a series, the IndyCar championship has a field of drivers as good as any other series. 

With down-to-earth personalities in the paddock, an accessible attitude toward fans, and the best racing on the planet, it is the best racing series in the world. 


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