Alexander Rossi counts himself among the motor racing fans who regrets the demise of the CART series.
“For me in the late nineties growing up I watched Champ Car [CART] and for me that was the best championship that there was, for me it was even better than F1,” he told F1 Fanatic in an interview.
“But when they split it ruined it and they lost a lot of fans and people got confused and then it just kind of slid.”
CART attracted F1 champions such as Emerson Fittipaldi and Nigel Mansell to compete alongside top American drivers Mario Andretti, Bobby Rahal and others in the late eighties and early nineties.
But in 1996 Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony George set up the rival Indy Racing League, taking with it the prestigious Indianapolis 500. This began a split in the series which lasted until 2008 when Champ Car collapsed and the remnants were taken over by the IRL to form today’s IndyCar series.
“I haven’t followed it that much since it split,” Rossi admitted.
“I think IndyCar in its own right is a very competitive championship and very difficult to win,” he added. ”
“But I think that it’s lost its edge and I think that, if anything, that’s almost a good thing for Formula One because people are kind of looking for something else in terms of open-wheel racing because like I say it’s not that popular.”
Rossi said he was unlikely to pursue a future in IndyCar himself as he is prioritizing his efforts to reach Formula One and has doubts over the safety of racing on ovals.