2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champion Josef Newgarden says his visit to the recent United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas has reopened his eyes to the world of Formula 1, and should an opportunity to drive a modern day Formula 1 car present itself, it would be something he would strongly consider.
Whilst Newgarden’s immediate future remains in IndyCar as he looks to defend his championship in 2018 with Team Penske, the American says his experience of last weekend’s event has made him think about driving in Formula 1 again.
“It re-ignited my passion for F1 cars,” said Newgarden on Motorsport.com. “I haven’t seen them up close in a couple of years. It’s hard not to want to jump in the car and go try and compete with the guys.
“My focus is on IndyCar and it’s going to be with Team Penske. But after this week, I’m going to take a little more interest as to what is going on in the F1 world and poke around a bit more and see what is going to be happening in the future because you never know when the right situation arises. And if it does, I want to look at it.”
Newgarden admitted it was a surprise to him to be linked to driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso in the race at the Circuit of The Americas, and there were never any discussions at any level to making his Grand Prix debut in his homeland.
“There was a lot of chatter that everyone thought I would be in the Toro Rosso seat but there was nothing there,” said Newgarden. “I hadn’t spoken to anyone about it to be honest.
“I haven’t been close to doing anything. I haven’t spoken to anybody.”
Newgarden, who during his IndyCar career has gone into every race believing he has a chance of victory, says it would be difficult to readjust his mindset should he move to Formula 1 and not be in a potentially race-winning outfit.
“You’d have to lose that,” said Newgarden of his IndyCar mentality. “The truth is, every IndyCar race, even before when I was with ECR, a smaller team, I went into every race thinking we had a shot at winning – If it all works out, I know we can win the race.
“Having to think different from that is tough. It would be a different thought process.”