Formula 1 teams should pay attention to new IndyCar champ Josef Newgarden such was his pace in 2017; that’s according to his rival Conor Daly.
Newgarden wrapped up the title at Sonoma on Sunday with a P2 on the day, claiming the crown by 13 points ahead of Simon Pagenaud.
“Right now, the pace Josef has been on with his steady development, he should be receiving calls from Formula 1 teams,” Daly told RACER.
“In no way should he not be paid attention to. The guy won the championship in his first season with Roger Penske, and maybe he is receiving calls from Formula 1 teams.”
Daly, who tried his hand in F1’s feeder series and made it as far as GP2, believes that while Newgarden’s initial progress may not have been fast enough for F1 teams, the American has proven himself worthy of a shot at F1.
“It’s hard to accept that a talent like Josef, that we’ve seen for many years, would have been kicked out of the Red Bull system if he had gone to Formula 1,” Daly suggested.
“Their deal would be, ’23rd as a rookie, 14th in Year 2, let’s get rid of him.’ You aren’t given a lot of time to grow, which he’s had now in IndyCar.
“The progression is what’s impressive about Josef. Drivers are always learning, and he’s only been with Penske one year and look what he’s done already.
“He’s going to be very difficult to beat here in the future if he doesn’t get taken by a Formula 1 team.”