Rosenqvist welcomes IndyCar's COTA track limits approach

NTT IndyCar Series rookie Felix Rosenqvist says he approved of the series' relaxed approach to policing track limits at last weekend's Circuit of The Americas race.

Rosenqvist welcomes IndyCar's COTA track limits approach

In IndyCar Spring Training at Austin, drivers repeatedly ran wide at Turn 19 and laps that included major violations of the track limit there were under threat of deletion.

Drivers and data acquisition engineers believed using the runoff could shave up to 0.3sec from lap times because it opened up the cornering arc so drivers could carry so much more speed through the turn.

Eventually, to avoid controversy and debate over what was and wasn't regarded as a track limit violation, IndyCar gave the go-ahead for drivers to use the run-off area as part of the course.

Polesitter Will Power was unimpressed by IndyCar’s decision because it made the turn so much easier. But series super-rookie Rosenqvist, who has raced on many other modern courses around Europe, welcomed the relaxation of the rules.

“I'm not a fan of [series-imposed] track limits,” he commented. “That's why I like racing in America, because you don't really have track limits: you go off in this grass, gravel or wall! Here we come into that problem where you have the track limit.

“I'm a fan of opening it up. You know it's going to be the same for everyone. They [Race Control] are not going to look at if this guy was one millimeter over the line or not, which is a bit ridiculous.”

Newgarden, Hunter-Reay want track limits review

James Hinchcliffe collided with Rosenqvist off the track at Turn 19 to cause the caution that cost leading trio Power, Alexander Rossi and Scott Dixon any chance of victory.

Asked for his view on IndyCar's approach, second-placed finisher Josef Newgarden said: "It's a fine line. The positive is there's no interference, which is good. I think we like when race control has less interference. 

"The Turn 19 thing, I think we need to look at for next year. I didn't have a big problem with it. Seemed like it was fair enough. You got a lot of side-by-side, you had a place to go if you got knocked off. You had to know in your mind that's racing ground.

"Again, it just takes out that equation where Race Control can get involved. At the end of the day, sometimes that's a good thing. Fine line, good and bad. Overall I was OK with it."

Ryan Hunter-Reay, who completed the Austin podium in third, said he agreed with Newgarden.

"We have to look at it next year," he said. "Race Control had its hands tied on this. In the open test here, there were hundreds of violations.

"You don't want to be watching a race, cars start peeling off the track from penalties from Race Control. Why? 'He was an inch-and-a-half wide from this corner.' Nothing we can do about it. Just have to come back next year with a better solution. 

"Yeah, I'll be glad not to see Turn 19 again for a few weeks."

Ahead of the race Max Papis, who advises series race director Kyle Novak in race control, explained to Motorsport.com that “the intent of IndyCar has been to not have to enforce track limits when it’s not needed".

Papis added: “During the test, there was not a factor that suggested running beyond the curb would give a clear advantage. 

"So it was decided that if you see someone run behind the curb exiting Turn 19, their lap will still count. We’re all about consistency and predictability and we’ve been putting a lot of thought behind it.

“But that is the only part of the track where you will see people deliberately running beyond the curb. Like I said, the asphalt beyond the curb is not supposed to be used for improving speed, it’s for improving safety."

shares
comments
Arrow Schmidt Peterson race report, Round 2 – COTA, Texas

Previous article

Arrow Schmidt Peterson race report, Round 2 – COTA, Texas

Next article

Power “couldn’t have been unluckier” with COTA caution

Power “couldn’t have been unluckier” with COTA caution
Load comments
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious? Prime

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 25, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Prime

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there? By David Malsher-Lopez.

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Prime

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021
Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy Prime

Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy

Tino Belli, IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development, believes the changes to the underside of the cars will allow them to run closer at Indy and make passes. The moment of truth comes on its biggest stage, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
May 10, 2021