Tuesday, July 10, 2012

10 Drivers That Could Help Indycar

Here is a list of 10 drivers that I compiled that, if they were to come to Indycar, would help Indycar on the track and off of it. Improving the quality of the field, as well as enhancing the already great credibility that the series has thanks to the great field that they currently have. This isn't to say the field this year isn't good, because the field this year is spectacular, but bolstering it never hurts. Only drivers that I excluded from the list were drivers currently in the Mazda Road to Indy. Here are the drivers names and why they would help Indycar (in reverse order, #1 would be the driver that would help the most whilst also being the most realistic):

10. Arie Luyendyk Jr.
He has the national appeal from the Bachelorette. He now has a pretty big following, with rapid growth on Twitter, and a lot of public support for him and his campaign to fight drug use. But that all won't help Indycar if he's stuck in the two-seater giving people rides. He may need to take a step back to Indy Lights before attempting to get into Indycar, but he needs to buckle down and get serious about his racing career.

9. Sebastian Buemi
Unfortunately, Sebastian Buemi of Switzerland has fallen into the pitiful role of test driver in F1, and when you get there, it is very hard to get out, especially when you have been in F1 before. But don't forget he was at the less than stellar Toro Rosso. Give him a quality Indycar, and I say a potential front runner on the road courses.

8. Luca Filippi
Another one of those drivers who got caught up in being a test driver and never being able to get out, as he was the test driver for multiple teams for a total of three years. Multiple GP2 wins to his name as well as a great 2011 GP2 season means he can drive, he just needs a chance to prove himself. And a successful campaign would be Indycar's gain and F1's loss.

Rahal expressed interest in Filippi, but sponsorship
fell through and a deal has not been met yet

7. Nelson Piquet Jr.
He left F1 beaten and bruised. He fled to Nascar in the hopes of getting a fresh start. Winning at Road America in the Nationwide Series shows that the talent is still there. But with limited road courses on the Nascar schedule, Nelson will never reach his maximum potential. Coming to Indycar would be a good move for Nelson and for the series.


6. AJ Allmendinger
Drug allegations aside, Allmendinger belongs in an Indycar whether he likes it or not. And now that the door may be closed in Nascar, Indycar makes perfect sense. If not, he is in a good position in Nascar, but he still isn't succeeding as many would have hoped for. Someone who wins the 24 Hour of Daytona doesn't belong in a tin top.

5. Conor Daly
He's young. He's an American. He's charismatic. He was in the Mazda Road to Indy, where he proved himself multiple times, especially on the ovals. And he is a hell of a talent. I asked him about coming to Indycar or going to F1 in the future, where Conor tweeted back:


"F1 without a doubt. Ive got a chance I cant pass up. We will see what happens though."

I am not for one second doubting Conor's abilities, cause he can flat out fly, but F1 is so hard to get into. Teams in Indycar know what he can do, as they have seen it firsthand. If the opportunity presents itself, I have no doubt an Indycar team will pounce.

4. Sam Hornish
I think it is safe to say that Hornish in Nascar has ultimately failed. One win (Nationwide at that), and noncompetitive on a week to week basis. He has only raced in Sprint Cup twice in 2012. One of Indycar's most successful drivers coming back would definitely bolster the lineup.

3. Nick Heidfeld
A German in Indycar. That is a scary thought. The last German in Indycar was the well known (snark) Andreas Wirth, driving for Dale Coyne Racing for just two races in the 2006 Champ Car Series. Nick Heidfeld is a worldwide name, and by no means another "F1 Drop Out". Nick is a hell of a driver who has flashes of brilliance, like this pass on Fernando Alonso: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4ATz6D7o4k Not only that but he is in search of a ride, and Bryan Herta invited him as a guest to St. Pete. Not a coincidence....

2. Bruno Senna
Let's put two and two together, with these two points: Point A: His last name is Senna...... That sums up Point A. Point B: F1 has not worked for him. He is having a lackluster season, even though his teammate has won. I don't see him having a ride for too much longer, and surely not in 2013. And with Indycar growing in Brazil, the attraction is big. It may not happen.... But could you imagine him in an Indycar? How freaking cool would it be to have a Senna in an Indycar?!

1. Felipe Massa
The way I look at it: Massa is getting sacked by Ferrari this year, no question there. The question is will another team pick him up, or will he retire? Or will he want to continue to fulfill his need for speed? Well you can't do that in a Brazilian racing series. He can do that in Indycar and follow the path of Rubens Barrichello. Also, Indycar has two of the big three Brazilian drivers in TK and Barrichello. Adding Massa would cause the Brazilians to flock to Indycar like seagulls when they see a fish out of water. One of the best drivers in the world without question, even though he has struggled in the past couple of seasons. But him coming to Indycar would be fantastic.

Felipe Massa Bruno Senna F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Practice
Would it be possible?

This article sparks a lot of debate. Disagree with the order or feel like there is a (realistic) driver that I missed? Let me know what you are thinking.

-Matthew Hickey

2 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Penske runs Jacques Villeneuve in the Nationwide road races, it would be cool to see him back in open wheel racing.

    ReplyDelete