Fans asked several questions about the Aeroscreen after its successful on-track debut at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Chip Ganassi Racing driver Scott Dixon and Team Penske's Will Power combined for more than 600 miles during the test with little to no issue.
“We had pretty high expectations, and we’ve probably exceeded them already,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said after the test. “I think it’s done everything we thought it would do and then some. Obviously, we’ve learned a lot.
“I think the most important thing is the foundation is right … and it’s been a very turn-key event, so we’re really proud of that.”
We pulled 10 of the most common questions, answered:
Q: Will the Aeroscreen be used exclusively on ovals?
A: It will be used on all tracks starting in 2020.
Q: Does it affect drag and top speeds?
A: Will Power and Scott Dixon put in laps of excess of 225 mph during testing at IMS and did not notice any major differences. Both said it was close to neutral.
Q: Is driver visibility affected? What about on the banking at ovals?
A: Power and Dixon reported no issues with visibility whatsoever. In fact, they agreed that if they had to go racing this weekend they could do so with the current Aeroscreen.
Q: Was it hotter in the cockpit?
A: No! Despite testing at IMS in 90-degree heat, drivers reported no issues. The Aeroscreen also has an implemented cooling system.
Q: What if it gets dirty?
A: The Aeroscreen comes with tear-offs like you see on a driver’s visor. Just remove the tear-off in the pits for a clean line of sight.
Q: What if it rains?
A: Rain will roll off the Aeroscreen similar to how it beads off the driver’s face shield currently. However, the Aeroscreen will not only help rain for hitting directly on the driver’s face shield but also have the ability to have a “Rain-X”-type coating to help the rain bead up. It also will be equipped with an anti-fogging device, which should prove helpful to the drivers in rainy conditions.
Q: Will the Aeroscreen be refined in the future?
A: As this project progresses, there will be various refinements to the design as seen fit by the engineers and feedback from the drivers and the teams.
Q: Could this prolong driver careers?
A: Power said the Aeroscreen could help extend drivers’ time behind the wheel. The driver will be less exposed in this design, which will have the ability to help mitigate driver injuries from debris to on-track accidents.
Q: Does it slow down driver extraction, in the event of a car overturning or a serious incident?
A: The AMR INDYCAR Safety Team has been involved with the Aeroscreen project since it was in the conceptual stages. They have had input as well as practiced extractions on the prototype and now on the actual car. It should not slow down driver extraction and there also is a quick process in place to remove the Aeroscreen piece if needed for an extraction.
Q: What’s the next step in testing the Aeroscreen?
A: Next week (Oct. 7) there is another test with Ryan Hunter-Reay and Simon Pagenaud at Barber Motorsports Park. The following week (Oct. 15) with Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden at Richmond Raceway. After that is Nov. 5 at Sebring with James Hinchcliffe and Sebastien Bourdais. The engineers will continue to collect data on the Aeroscreen's performance along with feedback from the drivers and teams to make refinements where needed to the design or accessories.