New rule tries to stop drivers using Push-to-Pass as Push-to-Defend

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    IndyCar will change how Push-to-Pass works from the next race at Mid-Ohio.

    There will now be a five-second delay between drivers pressing the button and getting the power boost. This is designed to stop drivers from using it defensively:

    IndyCar […] will introduce a five-second delay to the overtake assist for the 85-lap race on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course. A total of 100 seconds will be afforded drivers, with a maximum of 20 seconds per activation. There’s no recharge time between activations.

    “After that five seconds, when the driver gets to full throttle or already is at full throttle, the overtake will come on. That’s to stop from using it as a push to defend,” said Trevor Knowles, INDYCAR’s director of engine development. “They’ll have to plan ahead.”

    Oriol Servia is not a fan:

    I see where Servia’s coming from but I don’t think this rules tweak makes IndyCar’s Push-to-Pass the equal of DRS in F1 – drivers will still be able to use it defensively, they just won’t know if they need to.

    It is a bit gimmicky though. To be honest I was quite happy with it as it was. Yes, we knew it was going to be hard for Sato to attack Castroneves in the closing stages at Edmonton, but Castroneves had won himself that advantage by not using too much push-to-pass early on.


    I can see a pattern emerging with Indycar futzing with the rules after every race to improve ‘the show’. It isn’t working in Nascar and it’s making the racing feel artificial and staged. A few dull races in a season is a fact of motorsport. I’d watch wrestling if I wanted to be guaranteed action every week. Castroneves won because he used his P2P more wisely than Sato, but I guess that’s just not ‘flashy’ enough for the casual fans out there.

    I’ve always thought that if there’s going to be a ‘go-faster’ button, then there should be a disadvantage to go with the advantage – such as making the boost in power so significant that it heavily affects fuel consumption, potentially damages the engine, or forces the driver to take care of the tyres better with the increased boost. With the weedy boost they get from the current P2P and putting it on a timer, they’re forcing the drivers to use it whenever a chasing opponent does because there’s no downside to it.

    The season has been a vast improvement so far over last year without P2P, so why they decided to bring it in now is beyond me.


    Sometimes they should realize that sport isn’t a hollywood action movie. Sometimes races are boring for one reason or the other. But if they want to keep their hardcore fan base, they need to keep racing clean and pure, and fix the real aerodynamic problem instead of using cheap duct tape methods.
    I don’t think this new addition to the P2P regulations will do any good.

    Fer no.65

    Well, KERS has the same problems. If everyone gets the same, then someone will use KERS (or P2P or whatever) and the one ahead will use it to, thus making no difference at all.

    If the DRS was also available for the guy ahead, then what would be the point of the DRS? We’ve seen when the leader is about to lap someone, that once both cars activate DRS, they hardly get closer.

    The whole idea of the P2P or DRS is to make it easier for overtaking, not for defending. It’s a lame addition in its own right, as it doesn’t fix the problem at all, it’s just covering the sun with one finger. And it’s not fair either.

    But if free DRS (or P2P) for everyone makes no difference, then better scrap it. Though, at least DRS is designed by the teams (the effectiveness of it varies from team to team), whereas P2P is just the same system, same boost for everyone.


    I also think that the way they had the push to pass was fine (do we really need it at all, they went fine without it for the first races of the year, didn’t they?)
    But in IndyCar I can understand where they are coming from and changing this is consistent with how they want to see a driver defending on track, i.e. pre-emptive defensive driving is OK, but changing lines because you see someone getting next to you and now pushing the button because the guy behind/next to you does it is not allowed.
    But when I remember the race in Edmondton, I think it was a nice battle where both Sato and Castroneves were using the button to keep close (sato) and to stay up front (Castroneves) rather because they suspected the other will use it (they were informed by their teams about how much was left for each) than in reaction to the other, so that would not change at all with the new rule @bluestar77

    I do understand that the IndyCar P2P button does make the cars use a lot more fuel, one of the reasons for Castroneves not to use it in the early race and a reason why Pagenaud could not use it defensively when he was trying to go to the end of the race on a diminishing fuel load.
    And I am not sure there is not a small difference between the engine manufacturers in how well it stacks with fuel use and boost gained.


    New video showing how it works:


    Servia may not be a fan of the lack of push to defend, but I’m a fan of his Yorkshire accent in that first tweet. Still need to watch the Edmonton race, missed it live.

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