Scott Dixon has given a generally favourable review of the IndyCar aeroscreen after taking the device for its first real-world test at Phoenix.
Dixon ran with the aeroscreen on his #9 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda IndyCar during the rookie test day at Phoenix, with the device having previously been trialled on simulators or in a wind tunnel.
The purpose of the running around the mile-long oval was to test visibility, which the New Zealander found to be largely unaffected.
“No show-stoppers,” said Dixon of the experience.
“It’s a little bit different, looking through something that is so thick.
“I thought it would have messed with distortion a lot more, but there’s nothing like that; no problems with reflection.
“Obviously we’ll run a little bit later to see how it is in a more dusk setting, and then again tonight (under lights).
“But the weirdest thing is just how quiet it is; you don’t have any buffeting.
“The car is very smooth, like you’ve gone to a really luxurious, dampened car.”
He did, however, note that the aeroscreen made for less comfortable temperatures due to blocking airflow into the cockpit.
“We’ll need some cooling, because you get no airflow through the car,” said Dixon.
“Kudos to IndyCar but there are definitely things we can improve on and hopefully we’ll find some more things tonight.”
The 37-year-old also noted that the screen would need to be tested on road courses and street circuits, where driver sightlines are different.
“I think it will be interesting on a road and street course, just with the perception of the corner and seeing how you’re coming into it, and seeing if there’s issues if you’re looking through finer gradients of where you visually look through,” added Dixon.
“But nothing (major visibility issues) yet.”
Matheus Leist (AJ Foyt Chevrolet) was fastest in the rookie test.
Testing continues on Friday and Saturday (local time), when the full IndyCar Series field is set to be in action.