Christian Lundgaard believes his IndyCar debut this weekend will give him a chance to open up other options for the future, both in the U.S. and Europe.
The Alpine academy member is racing in Formula 2 this year but has had a tough season with ART Grand Prix, currently sitting 12th in the standings with two podiums to his name. However, after a test at Barber last month he will make his first IndyCar start for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing this weekend at Indianapolis and says his opportunity in the No. 45 car could lead other teams showing interest.
“All options are open,” Lundgaard said. “It depends — I think there are options in Europe, there are options in America; there’s options everywhere. With the right amount of budget you can really do whatever you want, but it’s also up to us to decide what’s best. At this time I think it’s all a bit too early to say.
“I would be happy to race whatever car that’s competitive and for me Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has a competitive car. So I’m not even worried for this weekend that we have a package that can perform. I don’t have any expectations on myself but at the same time that’s a bit of an advantage, because I can come in and I don’t need to think about anything — I can just drive and do my best and then opportunities will come.
“For the future, it’s way too early to say if it’s this or that direction we go in. I think after this race and maybe a bit later in the F2 season as well we will be able to say what will happen.”
While Lundgaard says it’s still his dream to be a Formula 1 driver, the Dane says his performance in an IndyCar race could make a switch of focus more realistic.
“It’s a good question, because obviously this specific weekend is one thing but there’s also things happening in Europe. But with this opportunity, we can expand options. This weekend, if it’s a great result or if we come out extremely lucky with a good strategy and then a caution comes out and we win massive time and positions on that and we come out winning the race, then you can argue if it’s pure luck or pure performance.
“There’s definitely a lot of things that need to be in place in terms of the big puzzle, but all the people behind me will know what’s going on. For me it’s all about doing the best I can and obviously impress and then opportunities will come.”
The 20-year-old is open to another appearance in the No. 45 entry at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca later this year if the opportunity arises, as the penultimate round of the IndyCar Series is the only one that doesn’t clash with an F2 race.
“Obviously it also depends on what the team wants to do — if they want me to drive and if we can come to an agreement and so on, and it also depends on how this race goes, I guess,” he said. “It’s always an opportunity — I would also say yes to an F1 race if that came up! You always want to drive and you would be happy to race if the terms are right. So I wouldn’t say it’s a no, I wouldn’t say it’s a yes; it all depends on a lot of different things.”