Fans were pretty divided in their assessment of the 102nd Indianapolis 500 – many loved the degree of difficulty and daring passes from Oriol Servia and Alexander Rossi, while others thought it was way too processional and only interesting on restarts.
IndyCar president of competition and operations Jay Frye gave the race a thumbs-up, but admitted some tweaks could be made to make it even better.
“In some brutal conditions we thought the car performed very well and there were some spectacular moments in the race,” Frye said of Dallara’s DW-12 that sported new-for-2018 universal aero kits.
“Having said that, as we always do, we’re going to sit down with the team managers and drivers to get their input on what we might be able to do to make it better.”
A major complaint was the lack of ability to adjust the car.
“It’s possible that adjustability could be lacking so we’ll ask what tools are needed that you don’t currently have and it could be a matter of tweaking a couple things,” continued Frye.
“And there was some misinformation out there about downforce because we had the same level we did in 2016. But we will evaluate how to get better, like we’ve been doing all year long.”
The 90-degree temperatures made for tricky conditions, and past winners like Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan plus former series champ Sebastien Bourdais all crashed on their own.
“The track temperature was huge and in the thousands and thousands of miles we tested we had never run in those conditions,” Frye continued. “Did the car pass the test? Yes. Can we improve on it? Yes.
“But the car did everything we expected it to do. It went backwards in one spin and sat right back down on the ground. This car has exceeded expectations all season and we’re quite pleased.”
With the car’s downforce being redistributed from the top of the car to the bottom, only small changes could be made to the tiny rear wing.
“We’re very critical of ourselves and we’re continuing an ongoing database,” said Frye. “The downforce is in a different location now so we need to look at overall numbers to determine the possible adjustments. Maybe it’s something we’ll introduce in 2019 but that’s why we’ll evaluate everything – to get better.”
Frye was pleased with qualifying.
“We had bumping back and that’s what everybody wanted and next year I think we’ll have more new teams so that will make it even more exciting,” he said. “Considering the two weather delays we were happy that teams got in multiple attempts on Saturday because, according to the rulebook, they were only entitled to one and it played out like it was supposed to.”
Some drivers are suggesting the double points go away now that bumping looks to be back.
“We substantially reduced qualifying points this year so we’ll take a look at it,” Frye responded. “Is it fair? That’s something we need to discuss internally and with our teams.
“But, all things considered, I thought it was a pretty exciting month.”