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IndyCar teams “already have” started Lundgaard pursuit for 2025

Christian Lundgaard says all IndyCar teams are inquiring about his future in the final year of his current contract with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

The Danish driver has raced for the Rahal squad since joining IndyCar in 2021 and since then he claimed the Rookie of the Year honour in 2022 – the same year he signed a contract extension – and scored a breakthrough victory at Toronto last season en route to finishing eighth in the championship.

Ahead of the opening practice at St. Petersburg, the 22-year-old was asked when teams would begin going after him.

“Well, I think they already have,” Lundgaard said.

After being pressed on which teams have already inquired for his future services, a smile widened across Lundgaard’s face.

“All of them,” he said. “Obviously there’s interest but at the same time I’m here to work with the team and my trust is in the team and we have a lot of unfinished business at a lot of circuits and events.

“To me, the biggest disappointment has obviously been on the ovals. That’s where we need to improve and that’s where I want to see the most improvement. So, it’s going to be an interesting season, at the moment my focus is where it needs to be.”

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Photo by: Penske Entertainment

RLL struggled on ovals in 2023, with no top-10 finishes between five drivers – Conor Daly, Jack Harvey, Katherine Legge, Lundgaard and Graham Rahal – totalling 16 entries, including Rahal failing to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.

While Lundgaard expressed that he doesn’t have “any interest in upsetting anybody or creating any drama” in regard to his contract situation, there is loyalty felt with RLL.

“I think everybody has a shot, but they [RLL] have the first pick,” Lundgaard said. “They’re the people who gave me the opportunity to come to IndyCar, so I have obviously want to show that appreciation.

“If we improve the oval performance then I don’t think there’s many other better places to be because I think they have the potential off the track as an organisation to improve and be one of the top teams,” he said.

“There are certain teams that are seen as the top teams and I think one reason for that is the hybrid testing, we weren’t included in that. But I do think that in the future we will be an absolutely top team for sure.”

For his part, Rahal was quick to point out that “continuity is a good thing”.

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Graham Rahal, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Photo by: Penske Entertainment

However, he understands how other situations could be more lucrative for Lundgaard after the recent reveal of Pato O’Ward signing a two-year extension with Arrow McLaren, which will earn him an additional $10.2 million.

“Everybody has to make their own decisions on where to go,” Rahal said. “I think the positive is for him is that if he’s going to chase dollar bills, that’s his choice. We’re never going to be the highest payer in the series. I saw what Pato made… and it’s laughable to me how different our base pays are. But that’s fine.

“The good thing for Christian going forward is that I’m not going to be here long, so the fabric is definitely more designed to be built around him than maybe most others.”

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Rahal then noted Juri Vips, a former Formula 1 reserve driver for Red Bull who is now in a reserve role with RLL where he made two IndyCar starts last year, as someone still around waiting for an opportunity.

“There’s a lot of good guys out there,” Rahal said. “Juri has been with us. He’s probably the most talented guy to come out of Europe in a long time, so if he gets the opportunity.”

Then Rahal’s attention switched back to Lundgaard.

“This guy [Lundgaard] has to make his own decisions,” Rahal said. “I’m not going to be involved in that. But I also don’t think he’s going go find a place that’s more suitable, and built around him or with a better sponsor.”

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