Power unhappy as four drivers avoid penalties after exceeding stint limit

IndyCar

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IndyCar waived penalties for four drivers who exceeded the maximum stint limit during Saturday’s race in Texas as it had given incorrect timing information to multiple teams.

The series imposed a maximum stint length of 35 green-flag laps upon drivers due to concerns over tyre performance at a track drivers which lap at average speeds of almost 350kph (217mph).

However James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti, Zach Veach and Marcus Ericsson all completed 36 laps on their first set of tyres (see video below). This allowed them to run for one more lap at a lower fuel load than their rivals, potentially handing them a strategic advantage.

Penske’s Will Power, whose lost time with a slow pit stop at the end of his first stint, complained the four drivers went unpunished.

“We had a mishap on a pit stop and that put us at the back and, man, there were four cars that went 36 laps on the first stint. I feel like they should be penalised.

“It’s unbelievable. That could be four more positions for me. It was a frustrating night. We had a mistake that put us in a bad place, and it’s just unfortunate.”

An IndyCar spokesperson told RaceFans why the series decided not to penalise the drivers: “We had some data stream issues at the start of the race that temporarily corrupted our systems, and as a result, multiple teams relied on our incorrect verification of the data.

“Once we got the system sorted out we didn’t feel it to be equitable to penalise.”

IndyCar imposed the 35-lap stint limit because its official tyre supplier Firestone was unable to complete production of its new compounds for the race due to the pandemic.

Texas Motor Speedway is one of the fastest circuits IndyCar visits and features its steepest banked corners, which place very high loads on the tyres. The strain on the rubber has risen this year due to the cars’ increased weight and higher centre of gravity caused by the introduction of the Aeroscreen.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 20 comments on “Power unhappy as four drivers avoid penalties after exceeding stint limit”

    1. re. picture above: What’s that coloured thing on to of the roll hoop?

      1. That’s a rotating camera. It can film at any angle.

        1. Thanks Bart, I didn’t see the lenses; they must be all pointed backwards.

          1. @coldfly I don’t think you can actually see the lens. Every video I’ve seen, they just look like coloured cylinders.

          2. @coldfly @losd Unlike F1 not every car in Indycar carries an onboard camera. Most weekends they will only install cameras on 6-7 cars (With uptp 14 for the Indy 500) with the rest of the cars carrying dummy housings.

            You can tell the one’s that are actually cameras as they have a silver band around them where they rotate (See image link below).
            https://www.racefans.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/racefansdotnet-ferrari-indycar.jpg

            Every car that carries camera will have the 360 roll hoop-cam as well as a camera in the nose, One on the rear crash structure & the new for this year camera in the aeroscreen that replaces the shot we used to get from the mirror.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYnFi0eAxac

            Unfortunately due to the aeroscreen we are no longer able to run the helmet camera we had the past few years as the view was blocked by the top bar of the halo structure underneath the screen.

            1. Ahhhh! That explains a lot. Thanks, @gt-racer :)

            2. Thank you @GT-racer

    2. I used to think the Aeroscreen looks better than the Halo, but it kinda looks disproportionate or a bit too high. Anyway, good for the drivers as they will be safer, something that Indy needs even more than F1.

      1. @gechichan I think it’s because the F1 aeroscreen proposals didn’t really have the halo-like colored tops. Here you kinda, look-wise, get the worst of both. But maybe safety-wise the best (though the tops here looks quite a bit less robust than the halo)

        1. I think that looking at the device, it is pretty much a Halo covered with the screen @losd. I do agree that it looks heavy and disproportionally large on these cars – would be much the same on F1 cars, I’d guess @gechichan.
          But I agree that as long as it helps make sure we never have to see another driver get killed or seriously injured from hitting his head on the fence or being hit with a large chunk of flying bodywork, it is worth it.

          1. @bascb, I think you’re right. According to IndyCar, the frame itself weighs 27.8 pounds, or ~12.6 kg, even heavier than the halo which clocks in at 9 kg, according to Wikipedia. Since they’re both made from titanium, I guess that should make it at least as robust as the Halo.

      2. I used to think the Aeroscreen looks better than the Halo, but it kinda looks disproportionate or a bit too high.

        And they seem to have a Halo (‘thong’) as structure inside, including a big central pillar.
        Worst of both cases (as @losd suggested); doesn’t look anything close to what Red Bull initially proposed for F1.
        @gechichan

        1. After looking at a number of photos I think I get why the aeroscreen looks so awkward on the cars. While the front has a sleek angle, the sides appear to go straight up vertically from where it attaches to the monocoque. Given the rest of the angles of the car slope from the base towards a peak at the top, this is somewhat jarring. If the base of the cockpit attachment point was wider and allowed the aeroscreen to taper gracefully on the sides while still allowing the driver to exit out the top, I don’t think it would look quite so awkward. As it is now, it clearly looks like the aftermarket part it is and not part of a integrated design.

    3. I’m not surprised Power is unhappy. The excuse is a bit strange from Indycar – surely it’s the responsibility of the teams to observe the rules; and that responsibility doesn’t go away even if the series is unable to monitor this in real time.

      1. Funny, isn’t it. Surely these teams knew how many laps they had done just as much as Powers’ crew knew @georgeod

      2. that responsibility doesn’t go away even if the series is unable to monitor this in real time.

        I understand that the issue is not they couldn’t ‘monitor this in real time’, but because they received the wrong info from race control (“incorrect verification of the data”), @georgeod.
        In F1 we had similar issues (flagging the race off 1 lap too soon), and they also made adjustments to the standard rules (race lengths) based on that.

    4. That is a silly excuse for not penalizing them, as they don’t need information from indycar to count to lap 35…

    5. It’s not a good excuse because they still had all of the timing data.

      Yes the system they had that was meant to specifically monitor how many laps each car had done went down but they still all knew what lap they were on & when you see cars pitting on lap 36/37 for there 1st stops (Something that was even clear from the TV broadcast) it should be blatantly obvious some have gone too long.

      1. Exactly. Those teams knew exactly what they were doing.This is not the 1950s when maybe it could happen that after hundreds of laps, one was not sure which one it was.

    6. I’ve been a Newgarden fan for few years and when watching the race I actually was scared for a moment as I think it was either second or third stint the race laps on tires graph was showing he had done 36 laps. Right before the yellow. So either that was the graph showing wrong information or it went unnoticed he never received a penalty for that.

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