The four-time Formula One world champion, who drives for Aston Martin, noted in an interview last weekend’s F1 Miami Grand Prix that he prefers “real” American tracks like Road America rather than street tracks in Miami Gardens.
Respected IndyCar blogger Matt Archuleta quoted a comment from the German ace on Twitter that provoked a response from RLL driver IndyCar Graham Rahal, who tweeted: “I will double and say; Seb, if you ever want to test IndyCar on Road America, we will make it happen. It would be an honor to have you in our car! “
Bobby Rahal, who co-owns the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team with David Letterman and Mike Lanigan, responded to his son’s tweet, saying, “Myself, it’s a deal if you want.”
After the race, Vettel was asked about the possibility and replied: “I have to look. But it’s a great trail, so let’s see. “
Bobby Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Photo by: IndyCar
In an interview with Autosport on Monday, three-time IndyCar champion and 1986 Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal said his offer was serious.
“We don’t have a chance right now, but why not?” He said. “You can’t show IndyCar in a better place than Road America, and you can’t show Road America better than in IndyCar. So I would love to see what Vettel thinks.
“Ultimately, does a guy like him want to embark on IndyCar racing after a very successful career in Formula 1? I do not know. Many Europeans do not like the idea of oval races. But he’s still in his mid-30s, so he has plenty of years to try other forms of racing. “
When the RLL expanded to three cars out of season, adding Christian Lundgaard team, Rahal has made it clear that he expects his former Formula 2 rookie to work the entire schedule, instead of doing what Romain Grosjean and Jimmie Johnson did last year, which focused on IndyCar’s road and street courses.
Asked if he would be more appropriate if Vettel had part-time work to perhaps avoid ovals, Rahal said, “Never say never.”
“Right now our sponsors want their guy in the car all the time. We have never found ourselves in such a position [fellow team-owner] Ed Carpenter this year where he adds an extra car to himself to run just the ovals.
“It simply came to our notice then. But if there was an opportunity to put someone like Seba in an extra car for some races, we would certainly have to seriously consider it. “
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR22
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Pictures of motorsport
Rahal pointed out that there is enough flexibility in the rules that a team can test a driver even without any guarantee that he or she will commit to the series.
Since the end of last season, five drivers who do not have drives on the IndyCar network in 2022 have been testing IndyCar – namely, a serial veteran Ryan Hunter-Reay with Ed Carpenter Racing, Nyck De Vries s Meyer Shank RaceDane Cameron s team Penske, and Nico Hulkenberg and Stoffel Vandoorne with Arrow McLaren SP.
“I think other teams would try to test it or set it on fire if we test Vettel,” Rahal said. “But if he then did a race or two, the series allows you those beginner days. And I would like to think that IndyCar would be happy if the best rated Formula 1 driver and world champion tests one of our cars. ”
Rahal also believes that Vettel still has everything it takes to excel in the series and hopes that a level playing field in IndyCar technology could pique his interest.
He said: “It seems to me that after four World Bull victories with Red Bull and then many Ferrari victories – driving for the two best teams in Formula One history – it must be hard to muster the energy and enthusiasm to race a car where you know you don’t really hope for success.
“So maybe joining IndyCar would revive a guy like Seba, knowing that success mostly depends on him, not technology. I don’t know for sure, but you could definitely think about it.
“We’re talking about Vettel here as if his arrival at IndyCar could happen, and he may not be interested in it at all! But I’d love to test one of our cars, and he’s right – Road America would be a great place to start. “