The higher cockpit temperatures caused by IndyCar’s Aeroscreen has made street races much more physically demanding, says Sebastien Bourdais.
While Bourdais praised the safety benefit the Aeroscreen has brought on high-speed circuits, he said he would prefer not to use it at some venues.
“The Aeroscreen safety-wise, particularly for the ovals and the superspeedways, is just the single biggest investment, for sure, as far as safety is concerned,” he said.
“For me, for sure, on the street courses I sometimes wish the screen wasn’t there because I feel like it’s making things extremely difficult and uncomfortable in the car.
“I think it’s one very tough compromise. You just add that big safety piece on an existing car that really wasn’t designed for anything like this, how you manage the airflow and everything around [it].”
IndyCar will hold two 70-lap races on the Belle Isle circuit in Detroit this weekend, where air temperatures are forecast to reach almost 30C, with a slight chance of rain on Saturday.
“For sure when it gets hot and humid, particularly on street courses, the body temperature inside the [49C] cockpit gets pretty critical,” said Bourdais. “It’s never really a fun last 10, 15 laps of those races.
“Doing it twice in a weekend, I think that the dehydration level is going to be tough. [I’m] probably not the best suited for that because I don’t deal super-well with dehydration.
“But it is the challenge, that’s for everybody. We’ll just have to add it to the numerous list that composes Detroit, I guess.”
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