Scott Dixon and Marco Andretti believe that this year’s Indianapolis 500 may not feature the huge slipstreaming battles that have been a feature at Indy for the past six years – but admit it’s still early to make a definitive judgment.
Although the new aerokit’s downforce/drag ratio is similar to that of the manufacturer kits as used the last three years, and the cars tow up even faster than in previous years, the cars then struggle to complete a pass.
Said Andretti: “It's tougher, yeah. [The race] will be more about track position. Scott and I were talking about this a little earlier today.
“[But] I prefer it to be track position. I prefer once you get to the front and you have a good car, you should be able to stay there instead of being a sitting duck.
“However, if you're third or back in line, it's going to be very tough [to pass]. It's going to take discipline to wait for the guy ahead to have a go and have a big wash-out, and then you get him.
“So yeah, it will be tougher to pass, but I prefer that.
Dixon, four-time champion and 2008 Indy 500 winner, said, “The first two cars seem to be able to swap back and forth pretty easily. But as Marco just said, once you get third or back, especially if you're fifth and back, the wash-out seems to be a lot more this year, which is kind of interesting.
“It's early days. I think we found some things that helped us today, helped that issue specifically. So, you know, the track temps are pretty high. That typically falls in that category [of making passing harder], too.
“But even if the guy gets a bit of a wash-out, but still has enough of a train in front of him, the acceleration [from the tow] is just insane. So it's really hard to pass that guy even if he does make a little bit of a mistake, whereas momentum seemed to be a bit of a key last year.
“But again, it’s early days."