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2020 INDYCAR INDIANAPOLIS 500 : WHAT SHOULD I LOOK OUT FOR THIS SUNDAY?

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2020 INDYCAR INDIANAPOLIS 500 WHAT SHOULD I LOOK OUT FOR THIS SUNDAY

The new aeroscreen device has changed the aerodynamic profile of the car, which has created uncertainty in terms of how well cars behind will be able to follow in the race. It also meant new set-ups for most teams as the added weight at the front alters car behaviour and tyrewear. We could have collated some of the drivers’ views on the affects of the aeroscreen, but very few of them agreed on the impact it will have! The great unknown, it seems.

2020 Indycar Indianapolis 500 – The 2020 Indianapolis 500 one of many events to have been delayed significantly by the coronavirus pandemic but ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing’ will take place on Sunday.

The ‘Month of May’ has become the ‘Month of August’ in 2020, but that will not make the event any less meaningful for the 33 drivers lining up on the grid.

Marco Andretti qualified on pole position for the 200 lap sprint at the Brickyard, with Scott Dixon and 2017 winner Takuma Sato joining the third-generation driver on row one.

Fernando Alonso is back at Indy to try and wrap up the Motorsport Triple Crown, having already won at the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Heures du Mans, but starting 26th, the Spaniard may have his work cut out.

The Spaniard

2020 INDYCAR INDIANAPOLIS 500  WHAT SHOULD I LOOK OUT FOR THIS SUNDAY alonso

Alonso returns to Indianapolis following the heartbreak of failing to qualify in 2019.

The Spaniard struggled as McLaren, who were yet to complete a partnership with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports that would lead to a full-time presence in IndyCar, failed to qualify inside the top 30 and, as a result, had to compete in the dreaded ‘Bump Day’.

With only 33 spots on the grid, Alonso missed out by setting the 34th fastest time.

This time around only 33 cars were entered for the 104th running of the 500 and Alonso had no such worries.

Starting 26th will be no easy feat but clever strategy can assist Alonso’s charge up the field. We have seen, from his debut, the Spaniard is adept to overtaking around the 2.5-mile oval, something which is much easier said than done with the aero-package supplied by Dallara. If there is anyone you never discount, it is Alonso.

Create a small piece of history

2020 INDYCAR INDIANAPOLIS 500  WHAT SHOULD I LOOK OUT FOR THIS SUNDAY marco andretti

Plenty of drivers in the field can create a small piece of history by coming out victorious on Sunday.

Polesitter Marco Andretti will look to emulate his Grandfather’s achievement from 1969 by taking the Chequered Flag after 200 laps. Father and team owner Michael was never able to take the flag during his career, so an Andretti win this weekend will no doubt be a popular victory.

Helio Castroneves is already a three-time Indy 500 winner. A win in the #3 Penske in a one-off appearance would draw him level with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears for the most Indy 500 victories on four. The Brazilian will have it all to do from 28th on the grid.

Castroneves was the last driver to win two Indy 500’s in consecutive years back in 2001 and 2002. Team-mate Simon Pagenaud will be hoping to update the history books from row nine.

Finally, the lowest starting position for a winner is 28th, when Louis Meyer won the 1936 iteration. We will have history if any of Charlie Kimball, Max Chilton, Sage Karam, JR Hildebrand or Ben Hanley emerge victorious.

When 33 cars are on track at the same time as each other doing north of 200 miles per hour, accidents happen. Especially when the field is this competitive. Lookout, then, as when the drivers start fighting for track position towards the end of the race and things get dicey, trouble can come in waves.

When you get one caution period, you tend to see another one follow pretty much straightaway. This is because the easiest time, theoretically, to get past a competitor is in the opening two laps of a restart. Because of this, drivers tend to go three-wide or move higher up the banking more often than usual, especially towards the end of the race.

Cautions can hugely affect strategy through the race, so pit-stop timing could be key to deciding the victor.

2020 Indycar Indianapolis 500

Two reasons why you should never turn off before the final lap. Firstly, oval races – especially Indy – are like games of chess. You need to be in the perfect position entering the final twenty laps in order to make a winning move.

In fact, an unwritten rule is to wait until the final lap to make your move, such is the slipstream effect at the superspeedway. It didn’t quite work for Alexander Rossi last year as he fell just short of beating Simon Pagenaud but the pair swapped positions like trading cards during the final stages. More of the same this year and we will be in for an exciting race.

Secondly, JR Hildebrand. Unfortunately, the then-rookie wrote himself into Indianapolis folklore for all the wrong reasons. The American was leading his first 500 with one corner to go in 2011, but instead of hanging back from a backmarker, Hildebrand attempted to overtake the lapped traffic at turn four and slid into the outside wall. His Panther Racing car slid over the line but the late Dan Wheldon stole the win.

Never take your eyes off the racing.

There have been plenty of high-profile crashes at the Indy 500 over the years. But for 2020, a new safety device has been introduced and has been proven to be vital this season already.

At Iowa, Colton Herta rode up on the side of Rinus VeeKay’s car. But where the nose cone would have previously ridden up close to VeeKay’s head-height, the aeroscreen deflected any danger upwards and away from the cockpit.

Alternatively, the aeroscreen will change the aerodynamic behaviour of the cars around the superspeedway and added to the already slimmed down Dallara packages, track position could be more vital than ever.

2020 Indianapolis 500 Grid

PositionDriverSpeed (kph)
1Marco Andretti371.867
2Scott Dixon371.84
3Takuma Sato371.315
4Rinus VeeKay371.281
5Ryan Hunter_reay371.191
6James Hinchcliffe369.939
7Alex Palou369.627
8Graham Rahal369.15
9Alexander Rossi368.915
10Colton Herta371.395
11Marcus Ericsson371.059
12Spencer Pigot371.016
13Josef Newgarden370.625
14Felix Rosenqvist370.557
15Pato O’Ward370.491
16Ed Carpenter370.488
17Zach Veach370.085
18Conor Daly370.076
19Santino Ferrucci370.026
20Jack Harvey369.925
21Oliver Askew369.762
22Will Power369.667
23Tony Kanaan368.787
24Dalton Kellett368.346
25Simon Pagenaud368.275
26Fernando Alonso368.165
27James Davison368.132
28Helio Castroneves367.53
29Charlie Kimball366.54
30Max Chilton365.808
31Sage Karam365.48
32JR Hildebrand364.26
33Ben Hanley358.749

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F1 2020 NEXT RACE

BAHRAIN

29 Nov
BRITISH TIME

SESSION
12:00 - 13:30Free practice 1
16:00 - 17:30Free practice 2
12:00 - 13:00Free practice 3
15:00 -16:00Qualifying
15:10 - 17:10Race

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