Christian Lundgaard won't be seen in the Formula 1 or Formula 2 paddocks in 2022, with the 20-year-old Danish driver signing a multi-season deal to join Rahal Letterman Lanigan in IndyCar.
It's an unusual career path for Lundgaard, who remains part of the Alpine Academy. Still racing in Formula 2 with ART, Lundgaard has already made his IndyCar debut with an appearance at the Indianapolis road course last month.
He's since opted not to continue with another season knocking on F1's door, instead choosing to head off to pursue a career in the American single-seater championship.
"My dream as a European has always been to go to F1, but we also know that there are 20 cars, and there's 20 drivers," Lundgaard told F1 Feeder Series.
With Alpine not having any customer teams, there's no way into Formula 1 for the Alpine Academy drivers at the moment.
Esteban Ocon has been signed on a multi-year deal at the factory team, while Fernando Alonso is showing no signs of going anywhere any time soon, despite being the oldest driver (40) on the grid in 2022.
Lundgaard pointed to the example of fellow Academy driver Oscar Piastri, who leads the F2 championship, but is meeting a brick wall to get into Formula 1.
"If they perform to the level that the team wants, they've still got the seat and so on," said Lundgaard.
"So it's very difficult for the younger drivers to come in without the proper funding, without the proper results. It's all about timing.
"Look at Oscar, he's leading the championship, and what is he going to do for next year? The seats are taken."
Lundgaard explained that he's not going to IndyCar with the aim of it being a short-term plan, saying he loved every second of the IMS Big Machine GP he took part in with RLL.
"There's always different possibilities and different options," he added.
"It was mentioned earlier to go do some LMP or whatever, but for me it's always about what's the most exciting for me. Where do I feel the most comfortable? Where will I enjoy whatever I'm doing the most?
"When I did the race over here, that's what I enjoyed the most. I haven't enjoyed a race weekend as much as that one for years, except obviously when you have a very good weekend in whatever you're doing, and you are winning and dominating.
"To come in for one race weekend and enjoy it that much surprised me. So, from there on, that's what I personally wanted to go to, and in the end we made that work.
"I'm happy that we're here now. It's a complete new spark that just fired in me, and I wanted to continue with that."
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