Can Formula One Learn From IndyCar
What I think F1 should adapt from IndyCar
What I think F1 should adapt from IndyCar.
I watched my first Indy Car race last Sunday, which had a guy called Romain Grosjean starting from pole position?
It was a great race, with plenty of overtaking, crashes, and all the drama needed which made it exciting. Rinus Veekay, a young Dutchman, took the first win of his career on the same day Max Verstappen took his maiden win in F1 5 years ago too. Spooky.
Then of course you had the great comeback story of Romain Grosjean or "Gross jean" to the IndyCar commentators.
Taking a great pole position and was set to win until blue flags cost him time. But he came second which is a fantastic result non the less.
Whilst I was watching I noticed some key differences that Indy Car has to F1 and maybe they could benefit F1 in one way or another. Or maybe not.
This is a huge point that I think really changes the pit stop and introduces an entirely new skill set that drivers have to master. Tire blankets were going to be banned in F1 for the original rule changes in 2021 (pre-pandemic). But the rule was dropped after some discussion. But they could be dropped sometime in the future and I am definitely okay with that.
Not having tire blankets increases the advantage of the undercut as the driver gets a lap to warm up the tires. Then it gives a good chance for the driver pitting a lap later to get overtaken as their tires are not in the optimal temperature. I saw it with Grosjean as he pitted later and had lost some time due to the heating of the tires.
Overall it would be a benefit in F1 as it can increase the racing and strategic mind games. It's already a big feature in F2, so why can it not transition to the world of F1?
No Blue Flags!
Blue flags make it extremely easy for the leaders to get through the field of lapped traffic in F1 and make the racing less exciting. But it is a whole different story in the world of Indy Car.
It's not that they don't have blue flags, they do. What it does is signals the drivers who are a lap down that a faster car is approaching. Not that they have to get out of the way. So it makes it harder for drivers on the lead lap to overtake drivers who are going to get lapped.
This unfortunately impacted Grosjean's race as in his final stint he was held up by Sebastien Bourdais and lost 8 seconds to Rinus Veekay costing him victory.
But imagine the amount of F1 race results that could have changed because of the Indy Car blue flag rule. It would be great to see it and if it means more overtaking instead of drivers letting each other through I'm sure that will increase the show. One thing Liberty media want to do.
Two Types of Tire
Red and Black. That's it.
Alternate Red Tires are basically in F1 terms the softer tire of the 2. They wear out quicker and give more grip that equals faster speeds. Although they are only allowed to be used on the street circuits, not the oval circuits.
Then you have the Primary Black tires the harder of the 2 compounds. They offer a balance between speed, cornering, and durability and are used on all Indy Car circuits. They also need to use both compounds of tire, red and black.
This is similar to F1 where you have to use 2 different compounds in a race. But what would mean if there were 2 compounds instead of the 3?
Honestly, I'm not sure it would make that much difference. If the harder compound of tires were scrapped we would see loads more action in the pit stops maybe even consistent 2 or 3 stops which always increases the action on the track.
Finally, one thing I liked about the coverage of Indy Car was the onboard cameras. They are in a similar position as the F1 car onboard cameras but they have the ability to spin. It might not sound like much but they are just incredible as you can see the cars when they come together at a great angle. If we had these sort of cameras in the F1 race in Spain at the first corner with Hamilton and Verstappen. It would be TV gold!