Who overachieved, who underachieved, who flowered, who soured, and who deserved the plaudits? David Malsher assesses the best IndyCar drivers of the season.
It was a year of significant change for the Verizon IndyCar Series, as the ugly manufacturer aerokits were replaced by simpler and far prettier spec kits from Dallara. Improved aesthetics apart, the importance of these devices was that they carved great chunks of downforce from the cars on all courses, making them visibly more of a handful, while also heavily reducing their dirty air wake by deleting much of the bodywork devices, and making the underbody the primary provider of aero grip.
It is rare that any motorsport governing body receives a verbal pat on the back for creating a win-win-win situation, but Jay Frye (president of competition and operations), Bill Pappas (vp of competition and engineering) and Tino Belli (director of aerodynamic development) are to be congratulated for a job well done. But yes, there is one caveat – the superspeedway package, which in 2019 will surely need to provide the teams with more available wing angles (or some other option) if cars are to follow closely through turns as once they did.
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