Sweden’s Linus Lundqvist is a triple single-seater champion, clinching the 2020 Formula Regional Americas title, the 2018 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship and the 2016 Formula STCC Nordic crown. He finished third overall as a rookie in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship in 2021.
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As the winter holiday season approaches, we are taking a trip down memory lane this December to highlight four of Linus’ strongest recollections from the year gone by. In the fourth and final feature, in the merry week of Christmas, we look back at a recent event of landmark magnitude: Linus’ maiden INDYCAR test…
As the winter holiday season approaches, we are taking a trip down memory lane this December to highlight four of Linus’ strongest recollections from the year gone by.
In the fourth and final feature, in the merry week of Christmas, we look back at a recent event of landmark magnitude. On November 1, Linus accepted his reward for finishing in the top three of the Indy Lights standings: a first NTT INDYCAR SERIES test run. 46 laps later around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, he stepped out from leading outfit Andretti Autosport’s 700-bhp beast with a smile on his face that would leave Santa jealous…
What? Maiden NTT INDYCAR SERIES test Where? Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Indiana When? 1 November
This was one of those moments that will stay with you forever. Ever since I started out in racing, in the karting days, I’ve dreamed about driving a Formula 1 or Indy car. All of a sudden, that day had arrived. It was a bit surreal, for sure, and I had huge expectations – but it still exceeded them in every way.
Just climbing into the car, surrounded by the aeroscreen, was a big thing. Then I left the pits, disabled the pitlane speed limiter, and went for it. I remember how I actually laughed inside the helmet on the run to Turn 1; it really was that crazy.
The acceleration was massive, and it was – of course – quite simply the best car I’ve ever driven. It was everything times ten: the power, the grip, the forces. The brakes were just insane. I was arriving into Turn 1 with a significantly higher top speed than I’d done in Indy Lights, but could still brake 50 meters later…
It took three or four laps to get the hang of it, but after that it felt surprisingly natural. At the end of the day, on my second set of new tyres, I put in a really good time and I was very pleased with how the entire day went. I always had such great support from the team, even though we’d never worked together before.
One thing that really struck me that day is the sheer physicality of driving these cars. With no power steering and such high cornering speeds, it’s seriously tough on the neck and shoulders. I’ll need a few more hours in the gym!
All in all, I think it’s fair to say that day at IMS was one of the best of my life. It was so much fun, extremely motivational, and it left me hungry for more. I know that I’m on the threshold to INDYCAR, and this test confirmed to me that I’m able to take that step. I know what the dream feels like and I will work harder than ever before to make it happen.