With the exception of Joseph Newgarden – the driver of the day by a large margin – he stopped three aces on 95 laps at the Firestone Grand Prix Monterey last year. But the alternative is this year [softer compound] The Firestone tire is more stable but also degrades more quickly.
Penske-Chevrolet championship captain Will Power said he thought the track was a little tougher on the tires this year because the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship hadn’t run here the previous week, as it did in 2021, so there was a little bit of rubber.
Although he said he thought the tire degradation was “similar to what it was,” he agreed Sunday’s race could be off four times.
“Yes, it is certainly possible,” he said, “there is enough deterioration for that.” “We’ll have to see in the warm-up when you actually do a full run…but yeah.”
Bauer lamented the fact that the teams were not getting more sets of frames.
“We asked, and we ask constantly,” he shrugged. “We would have run if they gave us more tires, but they didn’t… We tried. We tried a month ago. They just don’t.”
Despite being four tenths of a second faster, Newgarden described it as a “challenging session” due to the many offsets and wheels falling over pavement.
“There was a lot of people coming off, and there was a lot of dirt on the track, so it was very difficult to put it together,” said the 2017 and 19 champion. “So it’s not a very direct session.
“But I think it’s very productive in a lot of ways. It’s not a lot of running, and you’re trying to make the most of just a couple of runs, and I felt like we did, so I was happy with that. But obviously the early days of the weekend for us and the Hitachi.”
Penske third driver Scott McLaughlin said he was “sad low on” that Laguna Seca will re-emerge two months from now.
said the kiwi, who racked up three wins in his second win of the IndyCar season. “There are a lot of cars that run on that track outside of our series, so I think it all depends on when people are running and how many people are running here, but I think it would definitely be better in some ways.
“[But] I really enjoy the way you should drive. I’m kind of sad that they’re going to resurface because it’s kind of fun, and you really have to think about the temperature of the car and what you’re doing with the car and things like that.
“Yes, it is what it is, and resurfacing is going to be good for the longevity of the track, but I’d like to keep running on the old stuff.”
Former Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson said racing could work in his favour, given his meticulous Pirellis management experience in grand prix racing.
“Yeah, I hope it’s a high-level race, and it seems like it is,” he smiled. “Usually our team and I from my experience, we are usually good at it. Yes, the tires seem to degrade very quickly here. It was the same in testing and the same today in practice…
“I think you’ll have to think about it and find a way to get how long you plan on. It’s going to be very difficult, I think. Depending on the weather a bit too. It looks like it’s coming in in cooler weather, and that might change things, and make the tires last a little bit more.”
“But at least from what I’ve seen today, I think it’s going to be a very difficult race for all of us, people are going left, right and center, there’s sand on the track, and it’s very difficult to run from lap to lap, to stay on track, because it’s a huge challenge. there “.