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'One of the best in history' - Kiwi IndyCar champ Scott Dixon could have dominated F1 too, vet says

A former Formula 1 driver believes Kiwi IndyCar driver Scott Dixon would have been an F1 world champion had he not slipped through the cracks back in the early 2000s.

Scott Dixon waves to the crowd during driver introductions at last years event at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Source: Photosport

Former F1 driver Stefan Johansson - who coincidentally is Dixon's manager now - appeared on Formula 1's official podcast, Beyond The Grid, to discuss his history in the sport throughout an 11-year career with both Ferrari and McLaren.

However, Johansson was also asked which driver he thought had F1 champion material but never made it to the big leagues. 

His answer was blunt - Dixon.

Hot off winning the 2003 IndyCar championship in his rookie season, Dixon was given a test drive for Formula 1 with Williams Racing but despite picking up respectable times, was not offered a spot on the team.

Johansson said it all came down to "timing".

"When he won the [IndyCar] championship the first time, we had the test with Williams, which went very well. And we were due to have a test with Ferrari as well, we had some meetings with [then Ferrari team boss] Jean Todt. They wanted to do a test as well," he said.

"But with Williams, BMW was the main partner and they didn’t want a rookie in the car, basically. So at the time we managed to leverage that in getting a really, really, really good deal from Chip [Ganassi] for IndyCar, so we ended up in IndyCar, and that’s where the career ended up going."

Johansson had no doubts Dixon - now a five-time IndyCar champion - would've been something special in F1.

“I think he would have been world champion. In F1 you have to be in the right car at the right time. Timing is so crucial in F1… But if all the stars had lined up, no question he would be world champion.

"I think he’s absolutely one of the best in history of any category, in my opinion.”