Austin Cindric: That’s the difference between F1 and NASCAR

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Austin Cindric: That’s the difference between F1 and NASCAR

Austin Cindric next to NASCAR is a big Formula 1 fan and recently attended one race. He also discovered the main differences between NASCAR and F1. “It is maybe the mentality more than anything else that is the difference,” he told “Unlike most traditional NASCAR drivers, I guess I've been exposed to a lot of different forms of motorsport and I think it’s not the exclusivity, but that everything's very structured, everything is almost a bit tense, a bit serious.

And maybe on a rainy day like in Canada, it's probably been amplified. “It's certainly way different from what I've become accustomed to as a driver, especially as far as your commercial obligations are throughout a weekend, versus how many race fans you really interact with.

“I can't say I've seen a single race fan after riding the pontoon boat over to the paddock here. Whereas I can't walk anywhere, within probably a five mile radius of a NASCAR race, without seeing a race fan and taking some time with them”.

They showed what F1 looks like on Netflix, and it was Netflix documentaries that attracted a lot of attention. “I think it humanises a somewhat seemingly untouchable sport: even from a fan on the outside,” he said.

“Maybe it's something that F1 desperately needed, because you have so many people who have come to the race this weekend and you don't have the access like a NASCAR fan does. “If I'm going to a NASCAR race and I have access to the garage, there is a 90% chance you're going to see or meet your favourite driver.

Whereas I guarantee you anyone wearing a Red Bull hat here is probably never going to see the whites of Max Verstappen's eyes until he stands on the podium at the end of the day. “That's just a difference. When you humanise those moments, which I think is what they've done with this Netflix show, they have given life to who these people are, and that's where you get the connection”.

Cindric on earliest memories

Cindric also remembered the first moments when he came in contact with F1. “I think my earliest memories are for me IndyCar,” he says. “I grew up around IndyCar racing: being in IndyCar races, being in the IndyCar paddock.

“Probably my earliest memories of F1 are showing up at IMS, the morning of the Indy 500, and getting in the garage area. “Everyone's kind of got their pre race jitters, and it was the engineering staff and the drivers all just glued to the TV screens watching Monaco.

So it's probably my earliest memories. “But really, I’ve just got an appreciation for motorsport. Obviously, F1 is a completely different discipline to NASCAR. “It's even just how the safety cars are: a yellow flag has a significantly different procedure with restarts and everything that we do in NASCAR, which I feel makes our sport significantly different than a lot of other forms of racing.

“Whereas, F1, it's more about the pure strategy of the race. And the fact that you don't have to fill up fuel in the race: the only strategy you have is tyre strategy. So there's a lot of differences, and it makes it a bit exciting to watch”.