INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — IndyCar is standing pat with standing starts.
President of competition Derrick Walker said there are no plans to ditch the much-maligned starts that have been problematic for the series since last season. However, he knows the series has troubles with the starts that need to be addressed before the next one in June.
"The system we have on our cars is not as good as it needs to be," Walker said Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "It's tricky to set up. The manufacturers set that up, the way the system behaves. It's enough to say it's not foolproof. It needs a lot more work than we've given it."
The inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis got off to an inauspicious start Saturday when pole-sitter Sebastian Saavedra stalled, triggering a violent wreck.
IndyCar used a standing start for the series' first race on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But Saavedra's car simply didn't go when the lights went out and, after Ryan Hunter-Reay frantically darted around him, Saavedra was clipped by Carlos Munoz and then hit hard from behind by Mikhail Aleshin.
IndyCar has now had some type of failure in all six attempts since bringing them into the series last season.
"Even if the standing start doesn't work, there's a function called anti-stall," Walker said. "The engine should always be running. I don't think the manufactures have gotten that one correct yet. They're trying to go fast and we're trying to make sure the engine is running when something goes wrong. The car isn't perfect."
Knowing the system is flawed, Walker said IndyCar should have been more proactive and put in a session where they had time to practice.
"If all the drivers say, 'We can't do it like that, we have to change,' then I guess we'll go back to the drawing board and do it again," he said. "But there are a lot of drivers that come up and say don't change standing starts. Don't change restarts. They want us to modify it a little bit, so we're looking into it, getting input on improving it. I don't think it's all thrown out the window. I don't think you toss it out just because we've had a couple of tough ones."
Walker also said the cars were spaced too close together, and Munoz and Aleshin should have used dedicated spotters.