Yesterday, race fans were treated to two of the premier racing series’ competitions; IndyCar’s REV Group Grand Prix of Road America and Formula 1’s Grand Prix of France at Paul Ricard, except, once again, only one was worth your time.
I was lucky enough to be in attendance for the better of the two races yesterday, and what a race it was at Road America. While both race winners were ultimately decided in the first few laps with Alexander Rossi taking RA and Lewis Hamilton taking France, the quality of racing for positions other than pole were breathtaking in Wisconsin, as it has started to become par for the course with IndyCar continuously outperforming Formula 1 in the competition aspect.
We saw Scott Dixon fall to last in the field on the opening lap to battle all the way back towards the front, pole-sitter Colton Herta continuously fall and rise through the grid as the race went on, great battles between Ryan Hunter Reay, Simon Pagenaud and Sebastien Bourdais, the consitency of Will Power and Josef Newgarden’s Penske machines, the tire strategy gambles of Spencer Pigot forcing him to fall back but fight his way to a respectable finish, and a beautiful, dominating drive of Alexander Rossi for the victory.
Over in France you saw….Mercedes dominate yet again as they continue their sweep of 2019 and this even forced the typically non-verbal Lewis Hamilton to call out the top of Formula 1 for boring racing.
Earlier in the week, 102nd Indy 500 winner Will Power made comments about how Formula 1 was too easy. The cars aren’t hard enough to drive causing the teams with the better engines to be dominant. He then called out both series’ qualifying efforts at COTA. He mentioned during Lewis Hamilton’s qualifying run, he could make it through some parts of the track driving one handed and pointed to his run where you could barely hang on to the car. This much was backed up Romain Grosjean where he recalled that he felt more fatigued after an intense go-kart race than he did after finishing an F1 race. Current IndyCar driver and former Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson also backed up that sentiment saying that IndyCar’s are extremely physical and bring a dynamic that’s more difficult than Formula 1, therefore making the payoff that much more satisfying.
Formula 1 isn’t due to make any rule changes until 2021, where Hamilton has spoken out giving a list of things he’d like to see change for Fomula 1 to reach the excitement levels of IndyCar including not allowing team owners to have influence on rules, drivers having more input on rules, and not locking rules in for 5 years.
As far as both championships are concerned, Lewis has pretty much run away with his title as Alexander Rossi pulled within 7 points of championship leader Josef Newgarden.
IndyCar races next in the Toronto Grand Prix two weeks from now as Formula 1 hosts the Austrian Grand Prix this Sunday.