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Discussion Starter #1

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O'Ward splits with Red Bull – and enters the McLaren IndyCar frame
By: Marshall Pruett, Robin Miller and Chris Medland

Pato O’Ward’s goal of Formula 1 appears to be over, but that’s potentially thrust the talented 20-year-old Mexican right back into IndyCar.
After it was learned Red Bull is ending its relationship with O’Ward, the 2018 Indy Lights champion told on Friday afternoon that IndyCar is now his primary focus, and speculation is that it could be with Arrow McLaren SP.
“Be patient, good things are coming.” he responded when asked if he was returning to IndyCar, where he began the 2019 season. “My release from Red Bull was going to be November, but Dr. Helmut Marko called and said, ‘Hey you have options in IndyCar, take it. That’s your future’. I really appreciated him doing that.”

McLaren’s CEO Zak Brown was traveling and unavailable for comment but a spokesperson for Arrow McLaren SP said, “We don’t comment on active driver matters. Rest assured when we are in a position to confirm further details, we will.”
Following a dazzling debut at Sonoma in the 2018 finale, in which he qualified eighth, O’Ward was set to team with Colton Herta for Harding/Steinbrenner Racing in 2019. But budget concerns led to his being released just before the IndyCar season started, and he spent seven races running for Carlin before Red Bull snatched him up in May. Following an appearance in Formula 2, he was placed in the Japanese Super Formula category.
At the time that he joined Red Bull, O’Ward was expected to be awarded the Super License required to compete in Formula 1. But after eligibility points were reduced for his Indy Lights title due to the modest car count, the possibility of reaching F1 within the organization became remote. Continuing a relationship with no specific path to the top was deemed untenable.
“The FIA threw us both under the bus,” O’Ward said. “To be fairly honest, I need to go somewhere to earn good money, and F2 wasn’t going to be it. If I’m not going to make it in F1, I wanted to be in IndyCar. Dr. Marko calls me ‘Potato,’ and he called earlier, and said ‘Potato, it’s very hard because you have no Super License points,’ and there was no scenario [racing in Japan] that was going to give me a Super License. I couldn’t do anything [for them] without a Super License. I got signed because of that, and then everything went south.”

O’Ward’s most recent IndyCar appearance came with Carlin at Road America. Image by Abbott/LAT
O’Ward could be the solution McLaren has been seeking in its return to IndyCar with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. After targeting O’Ward’s Indy Lights teammate Herta to lead the re-named Arrow McLaren SP outfit in 2020, a new contract with Andretti Autosport kept the two-time IndyCar race winner from changing teams.
Prior to being signed by Red Bull, O’Ward and Brown met for breakfast in April at Long Beach, and it’s believed O’Ward’s release from McLaren’s F1 rival could ease the path to helming the Chevy-powered IndyCar squad. Arrow McLaren SP has yet to confirm either of its full-time drivers, or its pilot for the third entry it will field at the Indianapolis 500

“I’ve learned that racing not always a nice sport and I’m very grateful to Red Bull for the opportunity,” said O’Ward, who was replaced by Red Bull junior driver Juri Vips in the Super Formula seat.
“It showed me the caliber of person that Dr. Marko is and why he has so much success. Huge respect for him and whole team. He cared about my future, that means a lot. Things didn’t turn out like we expected, but he was concerned about my future, and that is very cool.

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Discussion Starter #2
Arrow McLaren confirms Askew, O'Ward for 2020; Hinchcliffe out
The new Arrow McLaren SP team officially named Pato O'Ward and Oliver Askew as its drivers for 2020 on Wednesday and confirmed the Indy Lights champions will replace popular IndyCar veteran James Hinchcliffe.
The Canadian Press
James Hinchcliffe

James Hinchcliffe , The Canadian Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The new Arrow McLaren SP team officially named Pato O'Ward and Oliver Askew as its drivers for 2020 on Wednesday and confirmed the Indy Lights champions will replace popular IndyCar veteran James Hinchcliffe.
Hinchcliffe began driving for Sam Schmidt in 2015, the year he nearly bled to death when a part on his car broken in a crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway pierced his leg. He is under contract to the team but being replaced by 2018 Lights champion O'Ward. Askew sealed a deal to replace Marcus Ericsson in the second seat after wrapping up this year's Lights title.

"James Hinchcliffe has concluded his IndyCar racing duties with the team," the team said. "While James will cease racing for the team in 2020, he remains under contract with Arrow McLaren SP but is free to seek and secure alternative options."
Hinchcliffe was already in a bind because of his ties to Honda and personal services agreement as a North American spokesman. But Honda won't work with McLaren because of a bitter breakup in Formula One, so the existing Schmidt team will move to Chevrolet in 2020. The move was going to cost Hinchcliffe significant money, but he was committed to staying with the team and had repeated public assurances from co-owner Schmidt and McLaren CEO Zak Brown that Hinchcliffe would be back.
As a driver under contract with no reason to believe he'd be released, Hinchcliffe was not part of the active free agent market and now finds himself scrambling for a job with very few seats available.

His fate changed when O'Ward gained a release from Red Bull Racing that made the 21-year-old available to join Askew to form the youngest team in the IndyCar paddock. Hinchcliffe learned he was out Sunday night.
McLaren had planned to be a full-time two-car IndyCar team in 2020 but scaled back its plans when it failed to qualify Fernando Alonso for the Indy 500. It has instead partnered with Schmidt and is overhauling the organization with aa clear emphasis on youth. McLaren is doing the same with its F1 lineup.
"I've followed Oliver and Pato closely over the last few years," said team co-owner Sam Schmidt. "I couldn't think of a better pairing as we write the first chapter in Arrow McLaren SP's story. They've proven their skills ... with an Indy Lights championship each. They are ready and deserving of full-time seats in IndyCar. I have no doubt that Oliver and Pato are the right drivers to move Arrow McLaren SP forward."
Schmidt is the winningest Indy Lights team in history with seven championships and has given seats to reigning Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud, as well as Robert Wickens in 2018 when he moved from touring cars to Indy cars. Wickens suffered a spinal cord injury in a crash at Pocono late in his rookie season and although he vows to race again, he's currently in a wheelchair but attended almost every IndyCar race to assist the team. He and Hinchcliffe are very good friends who grew up racing together in Canada.
Askew, an American who turns 23 in December, won seven races while winning the title this season driving for Andretti Autosport. The Indy Lights title comes with a monetary bonus that pays for the champion to race in at least three IndyCar events, including the Indianapolis 500.
"It's a dream come true to be joining Arrow McLaren SP for my first year in IndyCar," said Askew. "The new team brings together three great partners and it's an honour to be representing them in this new chapter for the team and for my career. This is an exciting new challenge for me and the next natural step after winning the Indy Lights title this year."
O'Ward, a nine-time Lights winner his championship season, had planned to drive alongside Colton Herta last season at Harding Steinbrenner Racing but bailed right before the season opened because he was skeptical of the team funding. Although he landed a few races with Carlin, he failed to qualify for the Indy 500 and then left to join Red Bull's program. The Mexican racer said he's pleased to return to IndyCar.
"I've had some great opportunities over the last year, but this is by far the greatest thing that could possibly happen for my career," O'Ward said. "I had a taste of IndyCar earlier this year and cannot wait to represent Arrow McLaren SP in the best way possible for a full season in 2020."
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Discussion Starter #3

Arrow McLaren Racing SP Photo
McLaren IndyCar boss breaks down team’s first test since missing Indy 500
By Bruce Martin Nov 11, 2019

McLaren Sporting Director Gil De Ferran left Sebring International Raceway last Tuesday with a much happier outlook than when he left the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 19.

That was when McLaren and famed two-time Formula One World Champion Fernando Alonso arrived at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ill-prepared. They failed to make the 33-car starting lineup for the 103rd Indianapolis 500.
That day in May, De Ferran vowed that McLaren would return.
Last Tuesday, what is now known as Arrow McLaren Racing SP after purchasing into Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, De Ferran was back to evaluate the team’s NTT IndyCar Series effort.
Instead of Alonso in the cockpit, it was the team’s recently named full-time drivers for 2020 at the test. That included 20-year-old Pato O’Ward of Monterrey, Mexico, the 2018 Indy Lights champion and 22-year-old Oliver Askew of Jupiter, Florida, the 2019 Indy Lights champion.
O’Ward was in the car for the test with Askew watching from the pit area.
“Pato did a great job, did not put a foot wrong, got on to it straight away and it was all good,” De Ferran told NBC “It was a positive day on all fronts. To work together, to build the team together and embark on this team together was very positive.”
De Ferran is a two-time CART champion with titles in 2000 and 2001 when he was with Team Penske. He also won the 2003 Indianapolis 500 for Team Penske before retiring as a driver at the end of that season.
Since then, he has been involved in numerous Formula One, IndyCar and Sports Car efforts. As McLaren’s Sporting Director, De Ferran is involved in both Formula One and IndyCar.
Arrow McLaren Racing SP also includes partners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson. Arrow also has a financial stake in the team in addition to serving as sponsor.
The chance to work with two young drivers is something that has De Ferran excited.
“They are both very young, but they have been around for a while,” De Ferran said. “It’s not like these guys are completely clueless about racing. They have been racing ever since they were kids. Generally speaking, as a trend in motorsports, they start much younger than I did. They move to cars at a younger age and tend to reach this level of the sport at a younger age then when I was coming up.
“Although they don’t have a lot of experience in IndyCar, several members of the team can help in their development. These guys are very accomplished and top-level guys. They have won a lot of races and championships before getting the nod from our team.”
Last week’s test was part of INDYCAR’s evaluation of the new aeroscreen that will be on all cars beginning in 2020. Arrow McLaren Racing SP is a Chevrolet team. Honda team Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser and Sullivan also participated in the test with four-time Champ Car Series champion Sebastien Bourdais as the driver.
This was the only test that Arrow McLaren Racing SP will conduct in 2019. Testing time is severely limited De Ferran said it won’t be back on track until the 2020 regulations take effect.
Arrow McLaren Racing SP has already experienced some controversy after the team said several weeks ago that popular driver James Hinchcliffe would not be driving for the team. He remains on the payroll and is expected to be at the track in a public relations capacity.
That has angered many IndyCar fans who are huge fans of the popular Canadian driver.
“I have nothing more to add to this than what was said at the time,” De Ferran told NBC “As far as I’m concerned, it’s head-down. We have to go racing. We are on a journey here together with this partnership and two young drivers that are very accomplished and have a lot of talent. Our job is to deliver the results on the track.
“That is where my focus is. I’m completely focused on improving every aspect of everything that we do trackside.
“One thing I guarantee you, whatever we start, to have that focus to improve everything that we do we will continue to move forward. It was like that when I was driving, and it was like that throughout my professional career away from the cockpit. We will keep looking for opportunities to improve.
“Eventually, good things will happen.”
It was just Day One on the track, but after seeing this team struggle at last year’s Indianapolis 500, McLaren took its first step in returning as a full-time NTT IndyCar Series team.
“This is the beginning of a journey that we embarked on several months ago now and you do a lot in the background,” De Ferran said. “The guys from SPM and us have put a lot into this partnership. Behind the scenes, we have been working hard together.
“We’re all racers, man. We want to see cars on track. This has been like a little check off the box and it feels good that we were on track.
“We have a long journey ahead, but it’s good to be working together, at the race track, how the car is handling, the engine is working and how the drivers do.
“First day on the track for Arrow McLaren Racing SP. It’s a good day.”

5,130 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Top Stories of 2019, #16: IndyCar takes aeroscreen plunge

Top Stories of 2019, #16: IndyCar takes aeroscreen plunge

By: David Malsher
Dec 16, 2019, 7:52 AM continues its annual countdown of the biggest stories in racing with IndyCar’s confirmation that Red Bull Advanced Technologies' aeroscreen will become mandatory in 2020.

It’s easy to be hardline or callous about someone else’s life rather than one’s own, and so there were a few protests from some fans when IndyCar confirmed last May that in 2020 it would be introducing a spec aeroscreen from Red Bull Advanced Technologies.
Those with a better perspective on progress in racing applauded the decision. Considering every other aspect of cockpit safety has improved over the years, it had begun to look truly incongruous that the racers’ heads had been left so exposed and vulnerable, improvements in helmet technology notwithstanding.
Initially IndyCar had worked on a more handsome and simple-looking device from PPG, which resembled an extended and raised version of what was seen on the Penske PC6s from 40 years ago. In 2018, Scott Dixon tested this screen at Phoenix’s ISM Raceway and Josef Newgarden tried it at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and both champions were left impressed at how little vision distortion they had experienced, despite the predictably tight front aspect of the device.
However, that creation couldn’t possibly be as strong in impact tests as what emerged from RBAT, which was a device that includes a Pankl-constructed horseshoe-shaped top frame – yes, akin to F1’s halo – and central strut, sheathed in a laminated screen made by PPG. Both screen and frame have matched all expectations in impact tests, and this combo is what all IndyCars will utilize in 2020.
Back in October, we interviewed Tim Baughman, IndyCar’s director of track safety and he was effusive in his praise for IndyCar for not merely keeping the safety team in the loop throughout the development of the aeroscreen but in also actively seeking advice and following it. The result is a construction which, contrary to the worries expressed by some regarding cockpit access in the event of an accident, has produced merely an alteration in procedure for safety workers.
But it was interesting, too, noting how Baughman – as considerate a humanitarian as you could hope to meet in a racing paddock – believes the aeroscreen is the next great step in driver protection and that his wish was that it could have been invented many years earlier.
He, like most others, doesn’t believe the presence of the screen somehow diminishes the gladiatorial image of IndyCar drivers, any more than Audi’s WEC drivers were regarded as wimps or missing a significant part of the sport’s challenge when the Ingolstadt manufacturer switched from the open-cockpit R8s/R10s/R15s to the closed-top R18.
It is a fact that in topline open-wheel racing over the past decade, the accidents that have caused head injuries and amazing escapes from head injuries have almost all been cases in which the victim/near-victim has been blameless. So it’s surely unreasonable to expect a driver to risk unnecessary cranial damage when there is an alternative such as an aeroscreen available.

One assumes that no one reading this would ask a 21st-century IndyCar driver today to race while dressed in t-shirt, slacks and cork helmet, as per his counterparts from 70 years ago, so what’s the difference? Assuredly Mauri Rose, Ted Horn and their peers would not have spurned present day safety measures had they been accessible in their era.
There’s no doubt that the aesthetics of the aeroscreen will take some getting used to, especially when seen from the fully head-on position, since optical illusions make it appear as if the top of the screen is wider than the bottom, like a wastepaper basket. In superspeedway form, the screen’s frame appears bulkier, too, because of the relatively slender cord of the front and rear wings.
But everyone will get used to it; they always do. Heck, most of us even got used to those ugly manufacturer aerokits, which looked bad from almost every angle. The aeroscreen looks sleek from any view that reveals its rake – aided by teams using the top frame in body color as an area to run sponsor decals.
Those drivers who have tested with the aeroscreen have been impressed with it, too, although finding a way to ventilate the cockpit – in particular, the drivers’ helmet area – has been troublesome and may well result in attachments that force air into the helmet, a la NASCAR. But there’s no way anyone could consider this minor inconvenience as a valid reason to delay the screen’s introduction.
The drivers will suck it up, just as the engineers have dealt with the revised weight distribution caused by the car’s center of gravity being raised and brought forward.
Soon enough, everyone will be treating the aeroscreen’s knock-on effects as second nature, its novelty aspect will fade away, and it might finally be credited appropriately as a huge step forward for open-wheel racing.
Click here to see the list of Top 20 stories so far.
Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda with aeroscreen

Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda with aeroscreen
Photo by: IndyCar

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Discussion Starter #5
Honda vetoes Alonso/Andretti Indy 500 deal

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Discussion Starter #12
Ferrari, Interlagos, 2019Ferrari confirm they are considering a move into IndyCar
Posted on
14th May 2020, 21:26 | Written by Keith Collantine

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has confirmed the team is evaluating a future move into IndyCar racing.


Binotto previously warned the team may consider racing in series other than Formula 1 if the budget cap slated for introduction next year fell below $145 million. As RaceFans reported last week, teams are closing on a deal to lower the cap to $145m next year and reduce it further over the following seasons.

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Binotto said the team would “review its organisation” as a result of the reduction in the cap, which originally stood at $175 million plus exceptions.
Binotto indicated a move into IndyCar would be in addition to their F1 programme and allow them to reduce job losses as a result of the cap.
“As Ferrari we feel strong social responsibility towards our employees and we are concerned about their future,” said Binotto. “Which is why we are also looking at other alternatives besides Formula 1, such as IndyCar for example, and we will try to make the best choice. In addition to F1 which is part of our history.”

Start, IndyCar, Indianapolis 500, 2019Ferrari could return to the Indianapolis 500Ferrari is the only team which has competed in every season of F1, though not every race, since the world championship began 70 years ago.

IndyCar is a much more technologically restrictive category than Formula 1. Teams use single-specification chassis supplied by Dallara.
Two competing engine manufacturers are involved in the championship at present – Honda and Chevrolet. They use 2.2-litre V6 twin-turbo engines with no hybrid component. Hybrid systems are due for introduction in 2022.
In the mid-eighties Ferrari team founder Enzo Ferrari famously threatened to enter IndyCar racing – then run by CART – in a dispute over the future Formula 1 rules. The team built a car compliant with the regulations, the 637, but it never raced.

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Discussion Starter #13
“The 200-lap race starts at 8 p.m. (ET) tonight and will be televised live on NBC”

By INDYCAR | Published: Jun 6, 2020
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Scott Dixon on track

FORT WORTH, Texas – Five-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon led the first practice of the 2020 season, turning a top lap of 215.995 mph today during preparations for the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Dixon’s top speed came on the second-to-last of his 60 laps in the No. 9 PNC Bank Chip Ganassi Racing Honda on the 1.5-mile oval, which was scorched by sunny skies and air temperatures in the mid-90s.
CLICK HERE: Practice 1 results
Honda-powered drivers captured five of the first six spots on the speed chart. Colton Herta was second overall at 214.491 in the No. 88 Capstone Turbine Honda, while Pato O’Ward was third at 214.326 in the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet.
Zach Veach was fourth at 214.298 in the No. 26 Gainbridge Honda, while Marco Andretti rounded out the top five at 214.264 in the No. 98 U.S. Concrete/Curb Honda.
Reigning series champion and 2019 Texas race winner Josef Newgarden was seventh overall at 213.308 in the No. 1 XPEL Team Penske Chevrolet.
All 24 drivers in the field turned laps during practice. There were three separate incidents during the one hour, 50-minute practice, which started with a short session for rookies only.
2012 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Ryan Hunter-Reay missed a portion of the practice session after his No. 28 DHL Honda got above the groove exiting Turn 2 and hit the SAFER Barrier. Hunter-Reay was unhurt and cleared to drive after examination in the infield medical center, and his car incurred only minor damage.
It was a tough practice for Ed Carpenter Racing, with separate incidents for team owner/driver Ed Carpenter and rookie Rinus VeeKay.
Carpenter’s No. 20 Ed Carpenter Chevrolet spun exiting Turn 4 and through the infield grass, barely brushing the outside SAFER Barrier in the first dogleg of the front straightaway, nearly an hour into the practice session. He was unhurt and cleared to drive, and his car suffered only minor damage.
Practice for rookies was halted a few minutes into the session when VeeKay crashed between Turns 3 and 4 in the No. 21 Sonax Chevrolet. VeeKay’s left-side tires dipped below the white line at the inside of the racing surface, causing the car to do a half-spin and hit the SAFER Barrier with the left-rear and left side of the car. VeeKay was unhurt and cleared to drive. His car suffered moderate damage, with the ECR crew working vigorously to repair it for qualifying later this afternoon.
“It was a rookie mistake, going too low,” VeeKay said. “I will definitely learn from this. If you make a mistake, it’s done.”
Qualifying for the NTT P1 Award starts at 5 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on NBCSN and streamed on INDYCAR Pass on NBC Sports Gold. The 200-lap race starts at 8 p.m. (ET) tonight and will be televised live on NBC, the first prime-time network broadcast of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES since 2013.

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