New IndyCar race director Beaux Barfield has said the series will take a different stance on drivers defending position in 2012.
Previously, due to the narrow confines of some IndyCar tracks, drivers have not been allowed to move off-line to defend their position – a much stricter rule on defensive driving than we have in F1.
Barfield says that will be relaxed this year thour the rules won’t actually be changed:
“A basis for the strong stance on blocking was that our cars have become sort of notorious for being difficult to pass so a little bit of defensive maneuvering leads to processional-type races.
“I’ve revisited that type of no-passing racing. My opinion is that it is dealt with better technologically — either with power to pass or aerodynamics or whatever the case is — not in how a driver intuitively tends to drive or behave on the track.
“That doesn’t mean I’m allowing this to be wide open with dangerous weaving. I’ll deal with dangerous moves, but the defensive-type moves that people I think are more accustomed to are basically being restored to our kind of racing.”
More here: http://www.indycar.com/news/show/55-izod-indycar-series/51150-philosophical-shift-on-blocking/
I could take or leave the old ‘rule’ as long as it was being enforced clearly (which it was, despite Helio Castroneves’ protestations to the contrary).
If the new generation cars are going to make the racing closer on street and road tracks then allowing drivers more freedom to defend their position is probably a good thing.
As ever, I think IndyCar should be commended for being so open about their rules of racing – it’s all too often a grey area in F1, though they are getting better (such as with this year’s rules clarification on defensive driving).