Most of the way through the season, Christian Lundgaard sits just four points ahead of David Malukas in IndyCar’s 2022 rookie of the year standings.
The close battle has been brewing all season, but the Danish driver is not overly concerned with taking the honors for the top rookie so much as he is with beating his team-mates.
Comparisons with team-mates are usually one of the best ways to judge a driver’s ability, as they are placed in nearly identical cars throughout the season.
In that regard, Lundgaard is holding his own really well. He has bested the veteran Graham Rahal in four races so far this season, and is only 40 points behind him in the overall standings.
“I don’t think too much about [the rookie standings], because I don’t think there’s a point of focusing too much on that,” Lundgaard told Motorsport Week. “I’ve got Graham next to me in the team, and I need to beat him.
“If I can beat him, I can beat most of the rookies. It’s about being consistent and learning as much as possible at this stage.
“[This season has] been good, and there’ve been moments where we’ve struggled more than necessary, I would say. We’ve had weekends where we show up with absolutely no pace.
“We’ve been on a good roll lately. Toronto was probably one of the best weekends of the year. We need to keep on digging and improving our package. We’ve improved the last couple races, and we just need to keep on going.”
Lundgaard joined IndyCar this season, moving over to the American series after spending two seasons competing in Formula 2.
His four top 10 finishes this season outpace the rest of the rookie field, and indeed are better than 10 of the series’ full time drivers have accomplished to this point.
This weekend he will contest the Indianapolis road course, where he made his IndyCar debut last season and impressed the RLL team enough to hire him on full time this year.