Sebastien Bourdais, Patricio O’Ward and Santino Ferrucci were latest to try the IndyCar aeroscreen safety device at Sebring circuit.
Prior to its implementation from 2020 IndyCar season onward, the Red Bull Advanced Technologies’ aeroscreen underwent four test runs in all, starting at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, followed by Barber Motorsports Park and Richmond.
The final test took place at Sebring – a venue that proved to be the ultimate testing ground for the device – with its anti-fogging measures being trialed in the humid Floridian climate. Dale Coyne Racing’s Bourdais and Ferrucci were on track.
The latter used the former’s car though. They had the newly formed Arrow Mclaren SP IndyCar team with O’Ward being the lone to run, even though Oliver Askew was present. The team used a funky test livery as they kick-start their new association.
None of these three, however, had any issue with the cockpit safety device, cooling not-withstanding, as Bourdais requested larger helmet vents be added, as ductwork around the screen will be prohibited. “It’s figuring out what’s the best cooling option,” he said.
“But it’s nothing we can’t work through. In races, we drive through clouds of debris, particularly on speedways and superspeedways, so I think this is a massive step. It’s a much safer place for us IndyCar drivers – I think everyone is pleased with it.”
IndyCar rookie O’Ward also enjoyed his first aeroscreen encounter, stating that his vision was in no way impaired, even noting that one doesn’t notice it at times. He feels the anti-fogging technology did its job to combat the heat and moisture in the air.
“You can barely tell the screen is there because it’s pretty clear,” he said. “Obviously, it’s a bit more enclosed, but you see everything you usually see. The eyes kind of look around the halo, so you don’t really notice it.
“Once you’re pushing, you don’t really see the Aeroscreen.” The teams will be receiving the Red Bull-developed safety system from next month, and based on reports from drivers, the aeroscreen will be ready for its first IndyCar race at St. Petersburg in March.
Here’s the details of the last test at Richmond
Here’s the details of the test at Barber
Here’s the details of the test at IMS
The story was written by Duncan Leahy and edited by Darshan Chokhani