The biggest talking point of the first IndyCar practice session on the Toronto street course was the new bumps that were introduced in a repaved section of the track.
A few corners were resurfaced since the series visited last year, and the dips that were created to accommodate the existing drainage grates and manhole covers are quite severe.
The cars were seen to be scraping their front wings and carrying wheels off the ground as the drivers traversed the large dips in the smoothest way they could find.
Felix Rosenqvist, who went third quickest in the opening session, even compared the experience to rally driving, where planning is needed to make sure the car lands the right way on the other side of a jump.
“It kind of reminds me a bit of rally driving,” said Rosenqvist after the Friday practice session. “Like you have to set the car up before the jump and then you have to land in the right place.
“It’s like a rally approach but way less jumping, obviously. Yeah, it makes you think. I think it’s kind of rare to have that in IndyCar, so it’s a new challenge for sure.
“Going into [Turn] 10, there’s a massive bump right on entry, so you kind of have to go through that. There’s no choice, you have to go through it.
“Then as a car, it kind of lands on the bump, you have to turn in, and if you take it with too much speed it’s really easy to just go straight.
“I think we saw a couple of drivers, me including, trying that. Yeah, you’re just mixing it up with different the lines and stuff. Was kind of interesting.
“Then 11, the new tarmac kind of ends right at the apex, so you can send it in pretty hard, but then it gets bumpy on exit. Yeah, it’s a complete inverted approach to the section, but I thought it was fun.”
All of the drivers spent a good portion of the afternoon searching for the best way to navigate the dips, which sit right in the middle of the racing line.
Additional track time will bring extra grip to the track as well, which may help to create a viable path that misses the worst of the obstacles as the weekend progresses.
A second practice session on Saturday morning will give drivers a chance to find the best line before qualifying takes place later in the afternoon.