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The NTT IndyCar Series has partnered with Red Bull Advanced Technologies to create a new Aeroscreen that will be fitted to all cars for the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series. The Aeroscreen is the latest iteration of cockpit protection for the IndyCar Series, following on from the first windscreen tests last year at ISM Raceway and the Advanced Frontal Protection device that was added to the cars earlier this month.

Together, the NTT IndyCar Series and Red Bull Racing released pictures of the design of the Aeroscreen, which appears to loosely combine the Aeroscreen concept from last year’s test with a HALO design underneath the windscreen as support.

Christian Horner, the CEO of Red Bull Advanced Technologies and the team principal of Red Bull Racing, stated today that he “looking forward” to being able to fully explore the Aeroscreen concept in the future, with the device first having been tested in Formula 1 back in 2016.

“Since the first prototypes were developed and demonstrated in 2016, the potential of Aeroscreen to improve the safety for drivers in the event of frontal impacts in the cockpit area of cars has been clear,” said Horner, “This new partnership with INDYCAR gives us at Red Bull Advanced Technologies the go-ahead to fully explore that potential, and to deliver a protection system that will help prevent serious injuries and potentially save lives in the U.S.’ premier single-seater series.

“Over the coming months, we’ll be working closely with INDYCAR and its drivers to refine and perfect Aeroscreen, and we’re looking forward to seeing the results race in 2020.”

Credit: IndyCar Media

IndyCar’s president, Jay Frye, gave thanks to Red Bull Advanced Technologies for their efforts in creating the Aeroscreen design before going on to state that the design would be “significant in the evolution of motorsports safety.”

“This collaborative effort on the Aeroscreen between Red Bull Advanced Technologies, Dallara and INDYCAR truly exhibits an unrelenting commitment and passion for enhancing driver safety,” Frye said. “We would like to thank everyone at Red Bull Advanced Technologies for creating a design that will be significant in the evolution of motorsports safety, not only for the NTT IndyCar Series but from a global perspective.”

Reigning IndyCar champion, Scott Dixon, also gave his reaction to the Aeroscreen concept today. The New Zealander was one of the drivers who tested IndyCar’s first iterations of the Aeroscreen at ISM Raceway last year. Dixon said today that the Aeroscreen is “the latest effort” that IndyCar has made to improve safety standards.

“INDYCAR has always been on the forefront of driver safety,” Dixon said today. “They are constantly looking and evaluating what needs to be done. It’s something they have done throughout history if you look back through the different eras since auto racing started over 100 years ago. The Aeroscreen is just the latest effort in continuing INDYCAR’s efforts to enhance driver safety.”

On-track tests of the Aeroscreen are expected to take place later this year before the device’s implementation at the start of the 2020 season.

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Carlos Sainz Jr. admits it wasn’t an “ideal” practice day at the Circuit de Monaco ahead of this weekends Monaco Grand Prix.

The Spaniard only did four laps in Free Practice 1 as he missed almost the whole session. His McLaren F1 Team were forced to change part of his McLaren and he could only venture out onto the track at the end of the session for a couple of laps.

“Well, obviously it hasn’t been an ideal Thursday in Monaco.

“Missing out the whole of FP1 isn’t the way you want to start a Monaco Grand Prix, but the mechanics made a great effort to change the ES pack and get me back out at the end of the session, just to do one lap and see how everything felt.”

Sainz completed significantly more laps during Free Practice 2 as he just fell short of the half century mark in the second ninety minute session but despite this, Sainz knows he has lost a lot of laps compared to everyone else.

“FP2 went better but obviously I am 30-40 laps behind my competitors and there are things to improve on the car.”

The Spanish driver has one practice session left to gain back lost time and he knows the team have to be smart on how they use the session to make sure they are ready for qualifying.

“It’s important to get up to speed little-by-little, so we need to be intelligent when recovering the time lost.

“Quali is what really matters and there is still margin to work and improve.”

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Lando Norris described his first Monaco Grand Prix practice sessions as “a bit messy” as the McLaren F1 Team finished just outside the top ten.

Norris was twelfth fastest in the afternoon session after being only fifteenth fastest in Free Practice 1.

This is the British drivers first experience of a F1 car round the Circuit de Monaco and he made a slight error during the first session as he locked up at the first corner and went straight on into the escape road, locking up and damaging his set of tyres.

“Overall not a bad day, not perfect and a bit messy.

“I had a lock-up in FP1 which made me lose quite a few laps and I couldn’t do all the running we’d planned, but we still maximised the session and did some aero runs instead.”

Norris found almost 8 tenths of a second in Free Practice 2 but knows there is work to be done ahead of Qualifying if he is to get to the front of the congested midfield.

“We made a decent improvement between sessions and FP2 was much better, so I’m happy with what we achieved.

“But there’s still a lot of work to do, and we need to make sure we make some more positive changes so that we can be at the front of the midfield.”

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Guenther Steiner has downplayed the significance of the black flags handed out to both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean during the opening free practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend on Thursday.

The Team Principal of the Haas F1 Team says it was a request from within the team to the stewards in Monaco to black flag the drivers as they had lost telemetry and radio communications with both drivers, with the stewards showing them the black flag so they immediately returned to the pits.

“It’s been an interesting and eventful day for us,” said Steiner.  “This morning we had some issues with our IT equipment and we couldn’t run for a while.

“It was all sorted, but a lot of people read a lot more into the black flags than there actually was.  We still managed to get out with about 20 minutes left in FP1.”

Both Magnussen and Grosjean were able to resume their practice session with around twenty minutes remaining and then take full part in the second session, and Steiner was happy with the performance levels that both drivers showed across both ninety-minute sessions.

Magnussen finished eighth fastest in the morning session and Grosjean tenth, while the afternoon session saw the Dane again ahead of the Frenchman, this time in seventh and eleventh respectively, with Steiner hoping for a similar performance during Saturday’s Qualifying session in the principality.

“FP2 was pretty good,” said Steiner.  “We ran a lot of laps, we didn’t have any issues. Everything was up and running again. The car seems to be competitive.

“So, let’s see what happens Saturday, and hopefully we can repeat our result from today and have a good qualifying – which means having a good race on Sunday.”

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Despite the bizarre black flag incident in opening practice, Romain Grosjean felt it was a good day for both him and the Haas F1 Team, with the pace of the VF-19 looking competitive around the Circuit de Monaco, a track the team has traditionally struggled on since their arrival in Formula 1.

Grosjean and team-mate Kevin Magnussen were both black-flagged during Thursday morning’s first free practice session around the principality as per request of the team, as result of the team experiencing telemetry and radio communication problems, but around this, both drivers were able to set times good enough to be in or around the top ten.

Grosjean completed twenty-three laps in the first session and finished tenth overall before ending eleventh fastest in the much busier afternoon session in which he completed fifty-one laps.

The Frenchman admitted he was unsure to just what kind of pace and performance Haas would have this weekend after having relatively poor weekends in Monaco in the past three years, but this year he feels they should be in the mix for a potential top ten starting position and possibly points on Sunday.

“It’s been a good day,” said Grosjean.  “We didn’t really know what to expect coming here – obviously, last year here, it wasn’t our strongest race.

“I was open-minded to what we could get. I’m quite happy with the way the car was. We possibly didn’t quite choose the right set-up for FP2, but we tried something which was interesting.

“Now we can analyze all the data for Saturday. I think we should be in the mix for a good qualifying.”

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Antonio Giovinazzi enjoyed his first experience of the Circuit de Monaco in a Formula 1 car on Thursday, with the Italian achieving the rare feat of outpacing his more experienced team-mate Kimi Räikkönen on the day.

Giovinazzi completed thirty-nine laps on Thursday morning in setting the twelfth fastest time, but with lap times significantly faster in the afternoon, he placed eighth with a time of 1:12.239, just over a tenth of a second better than his Alfa Romeo Racing team-mate.

The Italian feels there is a lot of work to do in order to remain inside that top ten such is the closeness of the midfield battle, with just over half a second covering Alexander Albon in fifth from his Scuderia Toro Rosso team-mate Daniil Kvyat in fourteenth!

“I am happy about today’s work,” said Giovinazzi.  “The first time in an F1 car around Monaco can be a bit daunting, but I got into a rhythm quickly and was able to enjoy the sessions.

“There isn’t a lot between all the teams so we will need to make some more improvement tonight to stay in the top 10.”

Räikkönen is in agreement with Giovinazzi about the work that needs to be done in order to put themselves in a position to fight for a top ten starting position, which hopefully will lead to a fifth points finish in six races for the veteran Finn since his switch to Alfa Romeo after leaving Scuderia Ferrari.

“I am not unhappy with the first two practice sessions,” said Räikkönen, who is competing in his three-hundredth Grand Prix of his career this weekend.  “It was better than expected, but we still have a lot of work to do to get the best out of the car.”

Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur was content with the days action around the principality and feels getting both cars into the top ten in Qualifying on Saturday is the goal for Alfa Romeo.

“It’s good to start in Monaco with two clean session, as track time is essential to build confidence around this track,” said Vasseur.  “We are satisfied with the work we did today but we are not getting carried away.

“Finding some extra performance is crucial if we want to target two places in Q3, which is our objective.”

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Following the highly successful debut of the TCR Australia Series last weekend, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) has spoken to Speedcafe.com about its plans for TCR in the not-so-distant future.

As has been widely reported across the media, the Bathurst Regional Council is looking to add a fifth event to its racing calendar next year. As many as six applications from various different motorsport organisers have been sent thus far, and it looks as though a TCR event could well be one of those.

CAMS CEO, Eugene Arroca, didn’t wish to give too much away about a potential application to race on Mount Panorama, but made clear on his wider plans to grow TCR as a concept down under.

“That’s our ultimate objective, to get to a point where we can have an international round here in Australia,” he said, “And you probably know where we’d like to do it…”

“We can’t talk about the (Bathurst fifth event) contenders for obvious reasons, because we have to respect the process. But, you know, we’re very vocal about our ambitions to be a WTCR round somewhere along the way…”

Should the Bathurst plans fail to materialise, Arroca maintains keen to stick by his vision of bringing international TCR racing to Australia.

“Whether it’s Bathurst, Tailem Bend, Phillip Island… to be honest I don’t care. The reality is we want it to happen at some stage in the near future.” he said.

CAMS’ initiative is helped by the strong relationship which has already been built between themselves and the creator of the TCR formula, Marcello Lotti.

Arroca explained, “We’ve got a great relationship with Marcello (Lotti). And I was there at that very first meeting where we met with them and I’ve been in Milan and met with them again and they’re very excited about what we’re doing in Australia,”

He added, “And I would think that if we continue this trajectory, we’ve talked to him, we’ve already planted the seed, and he’s already raised it with us. So for us we’re just letting it build its momentum and letting it fall into place. I personally expect that that support is there.”

A TCR expansion in this part of the world wouldn’t necessarily be limited to WTCR either. Motorsport New Zealand have claimed the rights to run their own TCR series from 2020, with World Rally ace Hayden Paddon having already outlined his intentions to join them with a Hyundai i30 N TCR.

Arroca hopes that TCR Australia can work with their Kiwi neighbours in order to boost the growth rates of both series.

“I think there’s some ways we can work with our colleagues across the ditch in making sure both categories can feed off each other,” he explained. “From our point of view, the more TCR cars in this part of the world, the better, because it builds a case for an international meet.”

Further links with Asian categories haven’t been ruled out either. All in all, the Australian market for TCR racing looks set to expand even further into next year and beyond, should CAMS be able to fulfil their intentions. The TCR formula has boomed worldwide in the last few years, and this could well be yet another success story.

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ART Grand Prix‘s Nyck de Vries captures victory around the streets of Monaco in a dramatic, chaotic and accident filled Feature race in the FIA Formula 2 Championship.

The Dutch driver led the race from start to finish, despite a red flag and confusion over the regulations under the red flag conditions destroying his lead up front. But de Vries managed to keep his head down and grabbed his second win of the F2 season. UNI-Virtuosi Racing‘s Luca Ghiotto claimed second place ahead of Carlin‘s Nobuharu Matsuhita, capturing his first F2 podium since his return to the series.

Sérgio Sette Câmara in the DAMS grabbed fourth place, losing out on a podium place despite being in third for majority of the race until he made his mandatory pit stop late on. CamposDorian Boccolacci captured fifth place ahead of Guanyu Zhou.

A lap behind the race leaders came MP Motorsport‘s substitute driver Artem Markelov, who ended the Feature race in seventh place. Louis Delétraz takes eighth place and the reverse grid pole for the Sprint race on Saturday. The Carlin driver was highest placed driver who were a lap down due to the red flag caused by Mick Schumacher and Tatiana Calderón.

The two drivers caused a road block as La Rascasse, bringing out the red flag and began the reign of confusion that led to majority of the field being a whole lap down. An investigation is set to take place after the race regarding alleged race suspension infringement.

Calderon’s team-mate Anthoine Hubert captured ninth place ahead of Trident‘s Ralph Boschung, who rounds off the top ten and point scoring positions.

Prior to the race starting, Sauber Junior Team‘s Callum Ilott stopped on the grid due to his electronics catching fire, causing his car to shut down. The rest of the field completed an extra formation lap as Ilott was forced to retire from the race after grabbing his best qualifying result of the season with second place.

Pole sitter de Vries got off the line well and led the field through Turn 1. Ghiotto and Sette Câmara jumped to second and third whilst Schumacher lost fourth place to Hubert in the race to Sainte Devote. Markelov, Boschung and Calderón cut the first turn and would later be handed a ten second penalty in the race. On Lap 3, Schumacher made an aggressive, but successful pass on Hubert at Mirabeau for fourth position.

Jack Aitken in the Campos made his pit stop at the end of Lap 7, although the Anglo-Korean driver was down the field in the early stages of the race after a disappointing qualifying. Hubert and Gelael made their first stop on the following lap, but a slow stop from the Hubert’s Arden team allowed Gelael pass in the pit lane.

Aitken after making his pit stop found himself having to contend with the MP Motorsport of Mahaveer Raghunathan for sixteenth place. The Indian-Dutch driver heavily defended against the Campos driver, who tried everything to find his way pass. Eventually, the MP driver made his stop and allowed Aitken pass.

Latifi attempted a make a move against Schumacher at the Grand Hotel hairpin, but the Canadian made his move too late and hit the German causing damaging to his front wing on Lap 17. The DAMS driver was forced to make a second pit stop and dropped down the field in 15th place.

Schumacher remained on track after the Latifi incident, but then tried to pass Calderón at La Rascasse on the inside of the corner, resulting in the two cars colliding and sending the Arden facing the wrong way round, causing a block at the corner and bringing out the red flag.

The whole field caught up to the scene of the accident, causing a traffic jam as the marshals pushed both Calderón and Schumacher back into the pits. After the clearing the scene of the incident, the marshals pushed all drivers back into the pit lane as they prepare to restart from the race.

As a result of the red flag, de Vries lost his lead in the race and was yet to make his mandatory pit stop – as were Ghiotto and Sette Câmara. The top eight cars opted to take on new tyres, but would have to make a stop again as in the regulations, a pit stop under the red flag doesn’t count as a mandatory pit stop.

After a long wait, the race commenced once again under safety car conditions with de Vries leading the way ahead of Ghiotto and Sette Câmara, with the top eight still needing to make a stop with 21 laps left, as the rest of the field were a lap down due to the leading eight starting an additional lap before the red flag came out.

Schumacher was handed two penalties at the restart; a five second time for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, and a drive-through penalty for causing a collision with Calderon.  de Vries led the field away in the restart ahead of Ghiotto and Sette Câmara. Schumacher took his penalty and dropped down to 17th place.

Latifi attempted to make a second pass at the Grand Hotel Hairpin, this time on Hubert for 11th place and once again, couldn’t make the move stick as he almost make contact with the Arden. Latifi a few laps later made another overtake at La Rascasse, but makes contact with Gelael and sent the Indonesian driver into the wall. The Canadian was handed a drive-through penalty as a result whilst Gelael retired from the race.

On Lap 35, Ghiotto and Matsushita made their mandatory pit stop, dropping to third and fourth place. A lap later, leader de Vries dived into his pit box and remained into the lead of the race, with Ghiotto reclaiming second and Matsushita jumping up to third ahead of Sette Câmara.

Two incident occurred on Lap 39: Raghunathan tapped Aitken at the Grand Hotel Hairpin, sending the Campos out of the race and Juan Manuel Correa crashed at the exit of the Swimming Pool section.

The safety car came out for two laps, returning into the pits for de Vries to complete the final lap, who claimed the victory with ease in his final journey around Monaco.

PositionCar NumberTeamDriverNATTime
14ART Grand PrixNyck de VriesNED1:30:56.153
28UNI-Virtuosi RacingLuca GhiottoITA+3.049
32Carlin MotorsportNobuharu MatsushitaJPN+4.046
45DAMSSergio Sette CamaraBRZ+5.470
514Campos RacingDorian BoccolacciFRA+9.120
67UNI-Virtuosi RacingGuanyu ZhouCHI+1:02.548
716MP MotorsportArtem MarkelovRUS+1 Lap
81Carlin MotorsportLouis DeletrazCHE+1 Lap
919BWT ArdenAnthoine HubertFRA+1 Lap
1021TridentRalph BoschungCHE+1 Lap
113ART Grand PrixNikita MazepinRUS+1 Lap
1220TridentGiuliano AlesiFRA+1 Lap
136DAMSNicholas LatifiCAN+1 Lap
149PREMA RacingMick SchumacherGER+1 Lap
1517MP MotorsportMahaveer RaghunathanNED+2 Laps
1618BWT ArdenTatiana CalderonCOL+2 Laps
DNF20Sauber Junior Team by CharouzJuan Manuel CorreaUSA+1 Lap
DNF18Campos RacingJack AitkenGBR+1 Lap
DNF10PREMA RacingSean GelaelINODNF
DNS11Sauber Junior Team by CharouzCallum IlottGBRN/A
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Kevin Magnussen hopes to be in contention for a top ten Qualifying position on Saturday after a positive practice day at the Circuit de Monaco, although it was interrupted by a bizarre situation on Thursday morning when both he and team-mate Romain Grosjean were black-flagged.

Radio communication issues resulted in the Haas F1 Team asking the stewards in Monaco to black flag both drivers so they returned to the pits, which obviously lost them some valuable track time as the problem was rectified, but on track, there were a lot of positives to take from the day at a track the team has traditionally struggled on during their time in Formula 1.

Despite the disjointed running in first practice, Magnussen was able to complete twenty-four laps and finish eighth fastest, while the afternoon session saw him run fifty-four laps and finish an encouraging seventh, just 1.056 seconds off the session topping time of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport’s Lewis Hamilton.

“We lost a bit of running in FP1 due to a telemetry problem, but got running again, and got all our low-fuel work done,” said Magnussen.  “That allowed me to get a good feeling for the car.

“We missed out on a few high-fuel laps, but we got them in FP2, so it wasn’t too bad of a Thursday. Between us we also ran on all the tyre compounds today, so that’s good. The car feels good in low-fuel, so we’ll see what we can do for tyre management.

“It’s a tough track to overtake on, so it’s not the main priority, but of course we want to be fast in race runs. So far everything’s going okay, and hopefully Q3’s a possibility.” 

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Charles Leclerc knows there is some work to do before he returns to the track on Saturday at the Circuit de Monaco, with the Scuderia Ferrari driver unable to maximise his track time on Thursday.

Leclerc, racing this weekend in his second home Grand Prix but the first since his move to Ferrari, ended fourth fastest in the morning session around the principality but found traffic at the wrong times during the afternoon session, meaning he was only tenth quickest, 1.232 seconds off the pace set my Mercedes AMG Motorsport’s Lewis Hamilton.

The traffic issues also meant he was almost half a second down on team-mate Sebastian Vettel, but as well as the traffic, he admitted there were also issues with getting Pirelli’s tyres into the right window throughout the session.

He hopes to come back fighting when track actions resumes on Saturday morning, with Leclerc aiming to close down the gap to Mercedes and fight to be on the front rows of the grid during the all-important Qualifying session later that day.

“We have some work to do before returning to the track on Saturday,” admits Leclerc.  “The first session was ok and I felt quite comfortable in the car. It was more difficult to put the car and the tyres in the right window in the afternoon, and we were also held up by traffic.

“Nevertheless, our competitors are strong and we have to push to close the gap in qualifying. We will give it everything and I can’t wait to be back in the car.”

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