IndyCar

Albon “interested” in IndyCar after Grosjean success – Coyne

Albon, who scored two F1 podium finishes for Red Bull Racing last year before being replaced by Sergio Perez, is currently in DTM.

He made a name for himself in the junior formulae, where he finished second only to current Ferrari ace Charles Leclerc in GP3, while in Formula 2 he was third in the championship behind George Russell and Lando Norris.

The Anglo-Thai driver was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last weekend, visiting various teams in the IndyCar paddock.

“Yeah, Alex was talking to lots of people,” said Coyne, who for the second time this year saw rookie Grosjean drive his #51 entry to a runner-up finish.

“He’s been on our radar for a while and we’ve been speaking with him for over a year now and he’s interested, for sure.

“Romain [Grosjean] is a great salesman for us, showing what we can do as a team, but he’s also the best salesman for IndyCar. Him and Alex talked together for quite a while.

“They talked about how nice it is in the series, how competitive you can be in these cars, what they’re like to drive – natural, instinctive, so you can get on it straight away, like we saw from [Christian] Lundgaard.

“Romain was telling him it was fun to be in IndyCar, a lot of less pressure, better relationships between teams, team owners, and between drivers.

Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda, 2nd at IMS for the second time in rookie season.

Romain Grosjean, Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Honda, 2nd at IMS for the second time in rookie season.

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

“And I think Alex appreciates that the teams here aren’t set up to have one guy as number one and the other as the bridesmaid. That’s something Alex has been through, right?

“It’s different here. If your two guys have two different driving styles, you can generally change each car to suit its driver. Now, that might hurt a bit if they’re very different – their feedback isn’t going to help the other one so much. There’s more work. And one driving style and engineering philosophy may suit a track better than the other.

“But if having them on different setups helps get the best out of each driver individually, then you can do that in IndyCar.

“So anyway, I think if they’re used to the pressure of Formula 3, 2 and especially Formula 1, drivers find IndyCar a breath of fresh air. The hard work is what’s done on track, in pitlane and in the engineering trailer. There’s not the politicking and pressure.”

Coyne also spurned the idea that Lundgaard’s fourth place on the grid for Rahal Letterman Lanigan on his debut had called into question the quality of the IndyCar regulars.

“Lundgaard’s a talented kid – he won in Formula 3 and Formula 2. And there’s a reason he’s been picked for [Alpine]’s Academy. He’s been a winner in one-make series.

“So I don’t think it’s surprising if a driver like that comes here and shines. Look back through history and you’ll see that talented guys have joined IndyCar and if they feel confident and can learn quick, and don’t make mistakes, they can make a good impression.

“Having said that, it’s a good wake-up call to the drivers already here that you’ve got to be enthusiastic and hungry and after it, because there’s talented youth who are gonna get frustrated in Europe trying to make it to F1 and they’ll quit that, come knocking on doors over here.”

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