Formula One and Indycar: Key Differences

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F1 and IndyCar: See what distinguishes Fernando Alonso’s F1 car and Sebastien Bourdais’ IndyCar.

Formula One and IndyCar — the global and American representation of high-tech and high-risk open-wheel racing. To the untrained eye, the two racing machines might seem similar, if not equal. After all, they both have wings for insane amounts of downforce, exposed wheels which make them incredibly dangerous, and an open cockpit that turns racing drivers into daredevils. But, what else is there to them?

Die-hard fans of each series could easily ramble on the differences between the two cars, but that’s not where the differences end, nor begin. There are key characteristics which vary enormously between the two racing series, such as rules an regulations, team structure, governing bodies, and of course — performance. While these differences have always existed, McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso recently shed light on them.

His brief separation from Formula One to compete in the Indy 500 made fans curious about what it takes to be successful as a racing driver. While Formula One cars are most certainly the pinnacle automotive racing and technology, drivers aren’t always guaranteed success in “lesser” series.

We’ve brought you these videos that describe key differences between the Formula One and Indycar. This way, next time you see a driver hopping between the two, you know exactly what they have to overcome.


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