F1 Vs Indy

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    I have been watching some of last season’s Indycar in the off-season and have been impressed with some of the close racing. I was also very impressed by the quality of the broadcast pictures and pit to car radio. I was much less impressed at the quality of the commentary, however, the BBC’s F1 commentary is far superior!

    Has anyone ever done a thorough, in depth comparison between Indy & F1? Which would be faster? What are the differences between the cars? Why does Indy attract such a huge market in the US and not F1? What is the difference in the marketing between the two? What would an Indycar be like around, say, Silverstone? What would an F1 car be like around an oval? What are the key differences in the rules?

    Thoughts please!?



    Indy is not as popular in the US thanks to the split, even though it’s now back together.

    I really got into Indy Racing a few years ago and the coverage on Indycar.com is excellent. You can go on board and listen to live radio for the whole race if you’d like.

    I’d love an F1 oval race, it’s something that has been discussed on this site before. I think Bernie even suggested it when Indy was so popular back in the early 90’s.



    As a brief comparison between indy cars and F1 cars:

    I believe indycars and F1 cars in a straight line are approximately the same – F1 cars are lighter and may have faster acceleration, but indycars aren’t far behind and may have a slightly higher top speed (can’t say for sure).

    On an oval, an indycar would be faster as its set up specifically for ovals (i.e. turning only one way with banked suspension I believe).

    On a race circuit, an F1 car is faster. The downforce levels produced are superior and therefore the cornering speed is much higher.

    Both indycars and F1 cars have race at montreal – and F1 cars were faster.

    [sorry for how vague this post is, can’t really remember specifics, but I think thats mostly correct. Though please correct me if i’m wrong!]



    On an oval the indycar maybe faster. But even then, if the oval’s too tight for the indycar to floor it, the F1’s superior downforce will come into play.

    But on anything other than an oval, the F1 will blitz the indycar. There is no faster way of getting around a circuit than an F1 car- not even a bike.


    Toby Bushby

    When Indy (or Champ Cars at the time) raced at Montreal, they were lapping at 5-7 seconds slower per lap. Around a fast track, that’s a huge speed difference.

    Also, I think Indy Cars are built using the same ethos as a road car ie. a body attached to a chassis (forgive my lack of expertise and feel free to elaborate), whereas an F1 car’s chassis IS the body (known as the monocoque).

    Otherwise, about all I know is that F1 cars have power-steering and Indy Cars don’t.

    Also, I think that if an F1 car was set up to race on ovals, it would still flog an Indy Car. The problem is, they’re not. Still, it’d be interesting to see the result…

    First forum post! Woot!



    Indycar is all a spec series (which will be changing next year kinda) which makes it more akin to almost GP2 rather than F1. During the CART era before the split was when you had drivers going back and forth between the series (Mansell, Zanardi, Villeneuve, and so forth). Now it’s pretty watered down but still produces some good racing. The current Dallaras are kinda pigs. They’re big long cars that really aren’t suited to road courses since they were built when IndyCar was an oval series.

    F1 is the pinnacle of open wheel racing.



    From what I saw I found the action a little bit artificial when I found out about the rule when you can’t defend an overtaking move. I did like movable camera on top of the cars though, it gives much better view of the action then a fixed one.



    I’m planning on watching some of the Indycar this year, at least some of the road-races. Not too bothered about the ovals.

    I don’t know about Silverstone, but Indy did race at Brands Hatch Indy a few years back in 2003 (for the ‘London Champ Car Trophy’), and the fastest lap was a 37.006, compaired to the fastest lap set in an F1 car around the Indy track of 38.032 by Scott Mansell in a 1997 Benetton.

    Although quite why Wikipedia states the fastest ever Indy circuit lap is the one of the B197, I’m not quite sure.


    I really like IndyCar racing and I’m very much looking to forward to a double-bill of F1 and IndyCar on the Mar 27th (the wife isn’t though!).

    Some of the on-board shots on the ovals leave you breathless at times – you just have to marvel at the speed and how close the drivers get. Agree with gabal too, the rotating camera gives some fantastic shots.

    Roll on Mar 27th!



    I kept missing last year’s Indy as ironically I was in the correct time zone and therefore always out on my day off! The only thing I wish was that the points system wasn’t so complicated.



    Although the series is essentially getting a new formula in 2012, I still think they should have used the Champ Car DP01 chassis (that only raced for 1 season and 1 race(although the cars are a base for Superleagues DP09)) from 2008 onwards. They looked great and were apparently built for ovals aswell as road courses. But no, they stayed with the old dallara, which personally i think is a good looking car(better looking then current F1 cars, but not the champcar).

    For me though its a shame I didnt really get into other motorsport till 2008, so missed the final years of champ car. Would have been a good series to watch when F1 wasnt on.

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