Colton Herta, McLaren, Algarve International Circuit, 2022

Herta and O’Ward face “big challenge” if McLaren offers practice run – Seidl

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In the round-up: Andreas Seidl says IndyCar drivers Colton Herta or Patricio O’Ward will face a “big challenge” if the team invites them to take part in a Friday practice session this season

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In brief

Herta and O’Ward face “big challenge” if McLaren offers practice run – Seidl

McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says IndyCar drivers Colton Herta or Patricio O’Ward will face a “big challenge” if the team invites them to take part in a Friday practice session this season

Current IndyCar drivers O’Ward and Herta have both tested the 2021 McLaren MCL35M, O’Ward taking part in the post-season test in Yas Marina in December, while Herta tested the car over two days at the Autodromo do Algarve last week.

The 2022 F1 regulations oblige every team to run inexperienced drivers in at least two Friday practice sessions during the season. Seidl says the two drivers will find it challenging to adjust to the new ground effect cars for the 2022 season in the hour they would have in the car should McLaren offer them one of their practice runs.

“Of course, with the 22 cars definitely being significantly different in terms of characteristics to last year’s car, it is not easy” said Seidl. “And then to only have 60 minutes is a big challenge – doesn’t matter for which driver. But that’s the challenge we are all in this year, all teams.

“The key will be when you do this session to then make sure that don’t put yourself as a driver, but also from team side, under too much pressure. We shouldn’t forget that we run the race cars there that we need to complete the rest of the weekend with race engines in and potential race gearboxes as well. So I guess whoever will sit in this car, knowing about how big this challenge is, we will definitely take a very conservative approach together with the driver.”

IndyCar medical director Billows to retire after season

IndyCar medical director Dr Geoffrey Billows has announced that he will step down and retire at the end of the 2022 season to be replaced by Dr Julia Vaizer.

Dr Billows was appointed medical director of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2006 before taking the role of IndyCar’s medical director in 2016. From next season the role will be filled by Dr Vaizer, who will become the first woman to assume the position.

“Dr Billows and Dr Vaizer have been working very closely together over the last few years, so we know this will be a seamless transition,” said IndyCar president, Jay Frye. “We look forward to continuing to work with Dr Vaizer as she trailblazes into her new leadership position as IndyCar’s first female medical director.”

Sasahara claims maiden Super Formula victory at Fuji

The sixth round of the Super Formula championship at Fuji Speedway saw Ukyo Sasahara take his first victory in the series ahead of Sho Tsuboi.

Sasahara took advantage of a well timed Safety Car after Yuhi Sekiguchi’s right rear wheel came off his car in the final sector following a pit stop. The Mugen driver held on for the final ten laps to take his first victory ahead of Tsuboi and reigning series champion Tomoki Nojiri in third. Former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi finished in 14th.

Nojiri continues to lead the championship standings on 93 points, 29 ahead of Ryo Hirakawa.

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On this day in motorsport

Lauda moved up to third in the championship with his second win of 1982
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10 comments on “Herta and O’Ward face “big challenge” if McLaren offers practice run – Seidl”

  1. One thing teams especially have to consider is where specifically as looking at the remaining circuits, Marina Bay & Interlagos are definitely off, the former for being a temporary track where maximizing running time for regular drivers is vital, while the latter only has a single FP before the events first competitive session, so effectively the same impact.
    Suzuka normally isn’t among tracks where maximizing practice time for regulars is vital, but perhaps this season, given a two-season hiatus from F1 racing, so 8 out of 11 circuits are options.

    Either Red Bull Motorsports doesn’t Livestream SF races anymore or the commentary lineup changed from last year.
    In either case, I find the present duo slightly annoying with their small American accent.
    The pit reporter with a Japanese(-sounding) accent, I’m more indifferent about. Quite a big barrier hit, though.
    The preceding contact slightly reminds Hamilton-Kobayashi in the 2011 Belgian GP, while the weird tyre separation on track reminds Haas in the 2018 AusGP, but also Hulkenberg in 2016 Chinese GP QLF + Perez in 2018 French GP FP1 or 2 among others.

  2. How Andreas Seidl kept his job after delivering such a terrible car is amazing.

    1. @Adrian He’s a good TP, among the best current TPs, & BTW, car design is James Key’s responsibility.

      1. They had Pat Fry.

  3. I think Seidl’s concern is reasonable. If the ground effect need a time to learn then 60 minutes practice could risked the car that allocated for competition since T-car are not allowed this year. Also there’s a cost cap concern. Maybe FIA should let inexperience drivers to start early, let’s say 30-45 minutes in empty track to adjust and reduced the risk of them to push the limit before they knew how to handle new car.

    1. @ruliemaulana The 30-45 min before standard practice time idea might be easier said than done, though.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        18th July 2022, 10:54

        It’d work if there was a set GP where they were going to run younger drivers but each team could pick different races so it would be a nightmare to organise.

  4. Seidl’s statement is nonsensical. 2022 F1 cars are much closer to IndyCars than the previous generation that O’Ward and Herta tested. They are significantly more similar in aero and weight.

    Keith even wrote an article entitled: “F1 adopting IndyCar-style ground effects in 2021 “makes complete sense””:

    1. Mark in Florida
      19th July 2022, 2:46

      Well said, amian. They shouldn’t have any problem at all. The less aero the better they’ll drive the cars. F1 is more like Indy now they just have more horsepower and power steering. These should be luxury cars for Herta and Pato to drive.

    2. It’s just typical PR boilerplate to protect the driver’s rep/confidence in case of struggles.

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