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FIA safety delegate Laurent Mekies has confirmed the governing body is following and working with IndyCar on the development of the windshield cockpit protection which was tested this week.

While the FIA has already gone ahead with the implementation of the controversial Halo device, which will be seen in Formula 1, F2 this year and Formula E from 2019, the American single-seater series has been developing the windshield for a potential introduction some point this year.

That prospect took a good step forward too after Scott Dixon completed a successful test using the windshield in daytime, dusk and nighttime conditions at the ISM Raceway last week.

"Everything looks very good, I’m very happy," the driver reported back afterwards. 

“When you look through something like that, it does change," Dixon acknowledged, with Sebastian Vettel suffering dizziness during a one-lap run with a similar design called the Shield last year.

"Your brain and eyes just need to catch up with it. The longer I ran, I got more adapted to it.”

With the Halo generating so much backlash compared to a somewhat positive response to the look of the windshield, F1 fans are now hoping it could signal an alternative for the future.

"Of course we have seen it," FIA's Mekies confirmed to Racer. "As far as safety is concerned we work closely with all other motorsport stakeholders.

"It's very good that IndyCar is putting some energy in trying to develop solutions and maybe it can complement the work we're doing one day."

As for whether he thought the windshield was something that could be integrated to F1, he added: "I think it's quite clear today what the advantages and the downsides are of the solutions.

"You choose what you try to protect against and after that, you have to accept if something more than that happens it won't help, or not as much as is needed.

"You might remember that we had ourselves scanned different protection levels," he pointed out. "The Shield we tried at Silverstone last year had a slightly reduced protection level. It's a matter of finding a good compromise."

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Andretti Autosport announced today that the 25-year-old Colombian Carlos Munoz will drive its sixth entry in the 2018 Indianapolis 500.

Munoz drove for Andretti Autosport from 2013-16 and posted a pair of runner-up finishes in the Indianapolis 500 – including in his first Verizon IndyCar Series race in 2013. Munoz drove for AJ Foyt Racing in the 2017 season, finishing 16th in the championship standings.

“I am very excited to be a part of Andretti Autosport again,” Munoz said. “The team has been like family to me since Day 1, when I joined them five years ago to race Indy Lights. We have been so close to winning the Indy 500 – twice with the team – so I am especially excited to be back for that race and hopefully we will have a good result this year.”

Andretti Autosport has won three of the past four Indianapolis 500s with drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay (2014), Alexander Rossi (2016) and Takuma Sato (2017).

For the 102nd running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on May 27, Munoz will team with Andretti’s four full-season drivers – Hunter Reay, Rossi, Marco Andretti and Zach Veach – as well as Stefan Wilson, who was previously announced as the team’s fifth entry for the race.

“We’re thrilled to have Carlos back in an Andretti car for the Indy 500,” said Andretti Autosport CEO Michael Andretti.

“There is no denying that Carlos has talent at (Indianapolis Motor Speedway), he’s finished runner-up twice and that has fueled his determination to get to victory lane. He has already built relationships with his teammates and many of those on our crew, so it should be a seamless process for our six cars when they head out for the first time together.”   

Munoz has driven in 70 Verizon IndyCar Series races, winning the first race of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix in 2015 and earning the pole position for the Texas Motor Speedway race in 2016. He also drove for Andretti Autosport in Indy Lights for two full seasons, finishing fifth in the 2012 standings and third in 2013, when he won four races.

“I need to thank Michael and J-F (Thormann, team president) for believing in me and wanting me back in their car for the Indy 500,” said Munoz, who also finished fourth in the 2014 Indy 500.

“I am also excited to be back with my teammates, and I think we will continue to work really well together. We have six cars, so hopefully we will have a strong team working with the new (universal aero kit). I am really looking forward to it. Hopefully, we can finally get that win we’ve been so close to.”  


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McLaren Executive Director Zak Brown has confirmed the British team will not be entering the Indianapolis 500 next year, after the much-applauded effort with Fernando Alonso in 2017.

The Spaniard took advantage of the lack of competitiveness with Honda in Formula 1 to attempt another leg of motorsport's Triple Crown, bringing huge interest along with him, however, his effort would end in disappointment with an engine failure while running well up the order.

He has ruled out another attempt next year to focus on F1, as a new Renault engine partnership at McLaren brings with it hopes for a championship bid, therefore, unable to recreate the kind of buzz this year's entry did, Brown has said the British team will not be returning to the Brickyard

"It's off the table," he confirmed to Racer. "We could have gone to Indy next year as just another Indy 500 entry but that's not McLaren. If we can't do it right and be a big part of the show, then we don't want to do it."

That's not to say McLaren is finished with Indianapolis or IndyCar in general, with Brown revealing consultations are underway into future racing plans.

"Given that the Indianapolis 500 is a big percentage of IndyCar's overall awareness, does that give you enough to accomplish what you want to do, or do you want to do a full season? That's all part of the review process," he explained.

"I'd rather the next time we go – whether that be Indy 500 only or IndyCar – it not be a one-off. So if we take the decision it's Indy only, I would like it to be Indy only for the next 10 years.

"This year was a one-off, crazy idea that turned into a great opportunity."


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For Team Penske, it was the perfect day at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. Simon Pagenaud won the race to conclude the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Teammate Josef Newgarden finished second to wrap up the championship.

Pagenaud, the 2016 champion driving the No. 1 DXC Technology Team Penske Chevrolet, beat Newgarden to the finish line by 1.0986 seconds to win the 85-lap race at Sonoma Raceway. It was the Frenchman's 11th career victory and second straight on the 2.385-mile, 12-turn permanent road course. A year ago, Pagenaud won from the pole position at Sonoma to sew up his first championship.

This year, it was Newgarden who clinched his first title and the $1 million champion's prize by finishing second in the race. The 26-year-old Tennessean held off Pagenaud by 13 points in the final standings to become the first American driver to win the championship since Ryan Hunter-Reay five years ago.

"I don't even know what to say," said Newgarden, the driver of the No. 2 hum by Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet who made his 100th career start today. "It was all year and it took a lot to make it happen. Thank you to my teammates. They were giving me a lot of help to make sure we got this done. It's a huge team effort at Team Penske.

"To finally get it done is a dream come true."

The championship is the 15th for Team Penske, the most decorated team in Indy car history. Newgarden joins the likes of Tom Sneva, Rick Mears, Al Unser, Danny Sullivan, Al Unser Jr., Gil de Ferran, Sam Hornish Jr., Will Power and Pagenaud as Team Penske drivers to win an Indy car title.

"I've had so many great drivers, and as I said, I don't have a favorite," team owner Roger Penske said. "I can't compare (Newgarden) to anyone exactly. He's an American, which is special in this sport because many of the other drivers have come from overseas and different parts of the world. To see Josef kind of take this route and be at the top right now is pretty exciting."

The race ran caution-free for the first time in Sonoma Raceway history, which now spans 14 Indy car events. Newgarden and Pagenaud each led 41 laps. Pagenaud opted for a four-stop strategy to Newgarden's three pit stops, but the Frenchman made up the extra time in pit lane by turning faster laps on an open track.

The decisive race moment came when Pagenaud made his final stop from the lead for fuel and tires on Lap 64. He returned to the track just ahead of the charging Newgarden and held on to first place as the teammates battled around the track. From there, Pagenaud kept Newgarden in his mirrors to the finish.

Pagenaud completed all 2,331 laps this season, becoming just the second driver to finish every lap in a season. Tony Kanaan was the first, when he completed all 3,305 laps when he won the 2004 championship.

"We did what we had to do," Pagenaud said. "We tried. We won the race; it wasn't enough. It's a whole championship. You've got to be strong in every race and I guess Josef was a little stronger this year, so we'll come back. Thirteen points. Next year we'll come back and give him a hell of a competition again."

Power, the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion, gave Team Penske a race podium sweep by placing third in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske. Scott Dixon finished fourth in the No. 9 NTT Data Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing to clinch third in the standings, 23 points behind Newgarden. It is the 11th time in his 17-year career that Dixon, a four-time champion, has finished in the top three in points.

Helio Castroneves wrapped up fourth in the standings by finishing fifth in the race driving the No. 3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet. Completing his 20th year racing Indy cars, the 42-year-old Brazilian is still in search of his first series championship.

By finishing third in the race, Power - the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion - earned fifth place in the standings.

Race result

1. (3) Simon Pagenaud, Chevrolet, 85, Running 
2. (1) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 85, Running
3. (2) Will Power, Chevrolet, 85, Running
4. (6) Scott Dixon, Honda, 85, Running
5. (4) Helio Castroneves, Chevrolet, 85, Running
6. (9) Graham Rahal, Honda, 85, Running
7. (11) Marco Andretti, Honda, 85, Running
8. (7) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Honda, 85, Running
9. (10) Sebastien Bourdais, Honda, 85, Running
10. (13) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 85, Running
11. (15) Charlie Kimball, Honda, 85, Running
12. (14) Max Chilton, Honda, 85, Running
13. (17) Spencer Pigot, Chevrolet, 84, Running
14. (20) JR Hildebrand, Chevrolet, 84, Running
15. (22) Carlos Munoz, Chevrolet, 84, Running 
16. (12) Tony Kanaan, Honda, 84, Running
17. (21) Zachary Claman DeMelo, Honda, 84, Running
18. (19) Jack Harvey, Honda, 84, Running
19. (18) Ed Jones, Honda, 69, Off Course
20. (5) Takuma Sato, Honda, 62, Off Course 
21. (8) Alexander Rossi, Honda, 60, Running
22. (16) James Hinchcliffe, Honda, 52, Electrical 

Race Statistics

Winner's average speed: 104.968 mph
Time of Race: 1:55:52.6840
Margin of victory: 1.0986 seconds
Cautions: 0
Lead changes: 6 among 3 drivers

Lap Leaders:

Newgarden 1-17 
Daly 18-20 
Pagenaud 21-29 
Newgarden 30-39 
Pagenaud 40-47 
Newgarden 48-61 
Pagenaud 62-85