Drama of this magnitude rarely hits the open wheelers like this, and already Dario Franchitti was a little tired of it.
Emerging from his car after his hour-long carb day practice, the defending champion of the Indianapolis 500 was not only hit with question about his machine, but also how it might act on Sunday afternoon.
"This is the centennial of the Indianapolis 500 and I'm really fed up with talking about double-file restarts," said Franchitti-but he really wishes it wasn't an issue.
During Friday's pre Indianapolis 500 drivers meetings, many of the 33 participants expressed their concerns about the move to Izod IndyCar Series Director of Competition Brian Barnhardt along with CEO Randy Bernard.
In the end the restart format that was adopted at the beginning of the 2011 season will remain-even if the drivers would rather not have them.
"We're gonna be part of the 100th anniversary of the event and we wanted to share some of the concerns that some guys had," said Tagliani of the drivers meeting-one in which they asked Bernard to join. "Obviously during the first couple of races we've seen some incidents on the street course.
"Here we don't want to see anything like that, so basically share our concerns and hope that everything's going to go well during the race."
Barnhardt and the Izod IndyCar Series have put in a few measures that they hope might calm the fears of drivers.These are the regulations for the restarts as listed on the series' website Indycar.com:
• IZOD IndyCar Series drivers proposed a mid-range RPM, second-gear restart (about 115-120 mph) when they hit the restart line.
• That will be 900 feet before the start/finish line (where the refueling tank for Simona de Silvestro, the first car at pit in, will be on Race Day), which will put the speed at about 150 mph at the start/finish line. Drivers are not allowed to improve their position until they cross the start/finish line.
• It’s 1,800 feet from de Silvestro’s pit box to the turn-in point of Turn 1, which puts the speed at about 183 mph (the start/finish line is not in the middle of the frontstretch).
• Three car lengths are required between rows.
• Drivers are to get in double file coming off Turn 2 (using the paving seams as reference on the backstretch).
These changes were made after numerous drivers spoke out against the new restarts from the beginning of testing two weeks ago. Many believe that the fact that the track often has racing on one line and the tire debris that collects on the outside during the race (referred often to as Marbles) could makes for a dangerous situation.
While they didn't get the single file restarts reinstated for this race, the drivers believe they can make it work without a major impact on the race.
"It's been interesting," said Dixon of the controversy surrounding the double-file restarts. "I think there is a 100 percent decision by the drivers that don't want to do two wide but, you know, we'll see what plays out here.
"I'm just looking forward to the race and hopefully it's a clean one."