IndyCar much smarter than F1

Unlike the mental midgets in F1, IndyCar wants better racing, not a boring F1 parade
Unlike the mental midgets in F1, IndyCar wants better racing, not a boring F1 parade

Whereas F1 is taking a step in the wrong direction with wider tires and more downforce – resulting in shorter braking distances and less overtaking, IndyCar feels good racing is more important than outright speed. IndyCar president of competition and operations, Jay Frye, told that Arie Luyendyk's 1996 qualifying lap record at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is unlikely to be threatened by cars using the 2018 universal aerokit.

He said: "Speed is in our DNA, so for this 2018 car, universal car, we certainly don't want to go backwards – we've got to keep going forward. So the goal is to maintain where we're at but go forward in steps.

"I mean, it's a ways off for something like that [record] to happen again. As you go over the years, you've got to do it safely. Is it going to happen in the next few years? Probably not. Possible, but probably not.

"Speed is very important, yes, but at the end of the day, the racing product is what's most important. That one day – the 500 – the race is the most important thing. We want to have a great race."

The FIA has advised F1 circuit owners that the new regulations for 2017 will necessitate them ensuring their tracks are capable of handling cars cornering up to 25 mph quicker than in 2015.

While we are continually told the cars will look "mean" and "aggressive" and be "beasts to handle", and that the new aero rules and wider tyres will mean increased speeds, one cannot help but feel that perhaps we are being oversold and that it will actually be a case of 'same old'.

However, speaking in Birmingham today at the annual Watkins Lecture, the FIA's Safety Director, Laurent Mekies, revealed that he has advised all circuits to be prepared for the increased speeds this year.

"Every single team has been asked to provide simulations for their 2017 cars," he said, "and we've used these simulations to feed our simulation software and simulated every single track with the 2017 cars, revealing much higher cornering speeds, up to 40 kph (25 mph) faster in high speed corners. When they crash it's going to be huge. Will any drivers die?

"Every single track is receiving from the FIA a requested upgrade based on that work and that process is ongoing," her continued "We are doing it in the order of the championship and therefore not all the tracks have received it yet."

Already, Mekies revealed, Melbourne has replaced the tire wall at Turn 12 with a safety barrier, while Turns 1, 6 and 14 are to have their existing tyre walls doubled in depth.

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