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Andretti IndyCar star Kirkwood "would hope" to be considered for team's F1 entry

Kyle Kirkwood is enjoying every aspect of competing in IndyCar, but "would hope" to be among Andretti Global’s options should it become the 11th team on the Formula 1 grid.

Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport Honda and Michael Andretti

Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport Honda and Michael Andretti

Motorsport Images

Kirkwood is coming off his second season in North America’s premier open-wheel championship, and first with Andretti in which he captured two victories, including the first of his career in the Grand Prix of Long Beach in April.

When the 25-year-old captured the Indy NXT championship in 2021, he became the first driver to ever claim titles in all three categories – USF 2000, USF Pro 2000, Indy NXT – a developmental ladder system for the IndyCar Series.

He also won the title in the Formula 4 United States championship and Formula Regional Americas Championship (then referred to as F3 Americas) in successive seasons in 2017 and 2018.

Additionally, on an IndyCar team with a roster that also featured highly touted Colton Herta and ex-F1 driver Romain Grosjean, Kirkwood was the only one to reach Victory Lane.

With team owner Michael Andretti vying to expand into F1 from 2025 after his entry received FIA approval, Kirkwood is hopeful to be on the shortlist of considerations for a seat.

"Yeah, I would hope that he would consider me,” Kirkwood said.

"But I think for me right now, I'm extremely happy in the situation that I'm in. I love being US based. I love being able to go to Florida and the time off that you get in IndyCar versus F1. I like the minimal amount of traveling that you have here in IndyCar.

Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport Honda

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport Honda

"There's a lot of things in F1 that take away from... it's an extreme change from IndyCar to F1. That being said, I think growing up as a young kid in karting, that was always the number one thing that you wanted to do.

"You always looked up to F1, especially being in Florida where it's very South American and European based, in the karting scene.”

Kirkwood happens to be close friends with current Williams driver Logan Sargeant, so he’s had a glimpse of the lifestyle and the commitment it takes to compete in F1.

"Yeah, it would be hard for me to say no to anything over there,” Kirkwood admitted.

"That just stems from being a young kid in karting and looking up to all the F1 guys. I remember thinking when I was really young that if I just drove an F1 car, then that would make my life complete.

"Then I remember that changing and being like, 'Oh, well if I drive an Indy car and whatnot, then my life would be complete because this is the direction that I change towards.”

The thought of IndyCar became apparent around the age of 12 while in the midst of racking up numerous karting titles, and became attractive due to the style of racing, being more obtainable and the fact it “looks more like a karting race than a manufacturing race.”

Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport Honda

Photo by: Richard Dole

Kyle Kirkwood, Andretti Autosport Honda

It also kept him in school and near places he enjoys in the United States. However, he concedes the thought of F1 is tantalising.

"If I had an opportunity in F1, I'd be probably obligated to go for it as I think most drivers in our series would say,” Kirkwood said.

"That's not taking away from what IndyCar is or anything like that, because I think IndyCar is the best series in the world for how the series treats its drivers, how the racing is, what the camaraderie is between drivers, the enjoyable places we go to, the quality of life - I think all of it is top notch in IndyCar.

"At the same time, F1 has been the pinnacle of motorsports forever, so it'd be hard to say no to that being a competitor."

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