With NTT IndyCar Series drivers encountering unexpected buffeting and helmet lift due to the aerodynamic wake from the new Advanced Frontal Protection device, the series has allowed teams to experiment with a small windscreen bolted to the leading edge of the cockpit.
With leeway to experiment with the clear plastic device used to divert air up and over a driver’s helmet, windscreens of various heights and widths now can be found on pit lane to minimize the AFP’s undesired aerodynamic effects.
Some of the shorter drivers are using taller windscreens. Some of the taller drivers are using smaller windscreens. Altogether, there’s nothing remotely linear in how Indy 500 drivers are choosing to combat the issue.
With a few days to play with various options, teams like Andretti Autosport (which needs to accommodate both ends of the height spectrum, including the diminutive Zach Veach and the lanky Alexander Rossi) are actively working to solve the problem.
“If there is a single solution, we haven’t found it yet,” Andretti COO Rob Edwards told RACER. “We have five different cars and haven’t converged [on a] solution that’s the same on all five cars. We tried a few things at the test, and both IndyCar and Dallara have done some work, but I’m not confident saying we’ve found the right solution.
“We have the opportunity to submit anything we think is a solution to IndyCar for them to approve. They’ve been quite smart in allowing us to run today and tomorrow and sort some of it for ourselves, but then we’ll need to have parts approved before qualifying.”