This season the NTT IndyCar Series introduced a new rule that forbids the use of tinting on the protective Aeroscreen except for areas that are rear of the driver’s forward vision.
The new limitation doesn’t affect many drivers, because most have chosen to run a clear screen with a traditional tinted helmet visor in the three years since its introduction.
A few have chosen to darken the canopy a bit, however, including most notably Santino Ferrucci, who run a considerably darker Aeroscreen at last year’s Indianapolis 500.
Speaking to Motorsportweek.com, Ferrucci outlined his dislike for the new rule while being careful not to outright criticize the series for the change.
“They’ve got bigger things to fix than a tearoff,” said Ferrucci, alluding to the tinted addition he had on his Aeroscreen last season. “That’s all I’m going to say.
“Yeah, technically it’s safety. Because [incident responders] can’t see into the car. But they could look down [through the top] and see us.
“But I don’t understand – like I understand if there was 30% [tint] or whatever the heck it was, where you couldn’t see in at all. Okay. But a little bit of light shade for some of us, that’s not really an issue.
“Yeah, I didn’t want to tint the visor too much because it does get dark. It’s just easier to see the steering wheel with a light smoke visor than it is a dark, dark visor.
“I mean, they have so many other things that they could fix with these cars on the oval for the racing, and they’re worried about sun deflection. That’s where I stand on it.”
There were a few reasons Ferrucci chose to run the tinted screen rather than a tinted helmet visor, including the ability to easily see his steering wheel controls and the added benefit of helping to keep the cockpit cool.
Heat buildup where the driver sits has been an issue since the Aeroscreen was introduced, and placing a darker covering over the whole area helped to provide a couple degrees of relief.
That is not an option this year, however, and all drivers will have to be content with a tinted visor to help protect their vision on sunny days.
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