Here’s the 2015 #IndyCar schedule: 17 @IndyCar events in 24 weeks.

Mar. 8: Brazil

Mar. 29: St. Petersburg

April 12: New Orleans

April 19: Long Beach

April 26: Barber

May 9: GP of Indianapolis

May 24: Indianapolis 500

May 30-31: Detroit

June 6: Texas

June 14: Toronto

June 27: Fontana

July 12: Milwaukee

July 18: Iowa

Aug. 2: Mid-Ohio

Aug. 23: Pocono

Aug. 30: Sonoma


Seems @Tagliani had a great idea for #F1 when it comes to reviewing safety car procedures @jamesallenonf1

A few years ago I had a chat with Alex Tagliani about full-course cautions, and he proposed an interesting solution that would help to stop drivers getting caught out by an ill-timed yellows: Speed governors on the cars, like the ones used at go-kart tracks.

When a full-course caution is called in IndyCar, the pit lane closes and the cars line up in race order behind the pace car before they are allowed to dive into the pitlane for fuel and tires. The reason for this is that series wants to confirm the running order before the cars to stop.

The problem with this system is that it benefits those who have already stopped and penalises drivers for managing a race from the front and doing a better job on fuel and tires.

“When there’s 25 or 30 laps to go and I know I am in the window [to get to the finish] and there are people pitting, the first thing that comes into your head is that you hope you don’t see a yellow,” Tagliani told me a few years ago.

“So, you drive full of stress and worry, because if a caution happens, the guys who pitted will go to the front and steal the position you worked so hard to earn.”

And this got me thinking about what Tagliani proposed as I saw that the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile was reviewing its procedures in the wake of the horrifying Jules Bianchi accident during the Japanese Grand Prix.

Tagliani suggested that using technology to slow the cars to a set speed under a yellow would ensure that no driver gains ground before the pace car picks up the leader.

“When a full-course yellow comes out, we have a light on our dash to tell us and it could be used as an engine governor just like Go-Kart tracks have – we have the technology to do it,” Tagliani suggested.

In fact, a variant of the system Tagliani proposed is already used in Formula One, where the drivers must stay within a specific speed delta until the leader pulls up behind the safety car. F1 also keeps the pit lane open under safety-car conditions.

Although a speed governor may not be the best solution, maybe adapting Tagliani’s idea is the way to increase safety in F1 during the short periods when a car is being recovered and a local double waved yellow was previously shown.

As soon as there’s a wreck that requires heavy equipment to be exposed during its removal, race control would call a full course caution. In addition to the waved flags and the lit trackside signs displaying “FCC,” an indicator light on each car’s dash would also illuminate. IndyCar has these for full-course caution periods.

As soon as that dash light goes on, the drivers would be required to slow and meet an agreed delta time in each sector until the race is restarted. No driver can pass once the system is engaged, and the delta time system means nobody gets an advantage and nobody loses an advantage. Essentially they slow to a set speed and keep the gap that existed under green conditions.

Considering that a wrecked vehicle usually gets removed within a lap or two, deploying the safety car for these previously local yellow instances would mean that the fans lose several laps of racing because lapped cars must pass and get back onto the end of the line before the return to green.

Adapting Tagliani’s system to F1 would not only ensure safe removal of the car but also eliminate this wait time and ultimately deliver more racing laps for the fans.

While this system would be used for the short periods during a quick car removal, the safety car would still be used to pace the field when there’s a more serious accident, when vehicles such as the medical car must be deployed, when inclement weather makes it too dangerous, or any other time race control deems it necessary.

Will Typhoon Phanpone cause troubles for Russian GP? #F1

A giant storm called Phanfone continues to inch across the Pacific and threatens to disrupt Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Officials continue to huddle as they try to figure out what to do about the typhoon, which may hit just ahead of the race’s planned start at 3 p.m. local time.

There is an option to move the race forward several hours to Sunday morning, or run it after qualifying on Saturday. Fans might recall that the 2004 weekend at Suzuka saw qualifying happen on Sunday morning after rain from typhoon Ma-on washed out Saturday’s session.

The bigger picture is that this may be a demonstration that the racing gods aren’t pleased with F1 and its decision to go to Sochi next weekend. Even if the Japanese GP gets moved up to Sunday morning or Saturday, the storm would probably keep everyone stuck in Suzuka until it passed. It will also likely disrupt all travel for days after Sunday as authorities clean up in the storm’s wake.

Many commercial flights out of Japan would likely start being cancelled by Sunday morning and getting the hundreds of crew and engineers out to Russia would be difficult at best.

Perhaps agreeing to race in a country that continues to oppress its citizens and support those who want to do the same in others, not to mention invading its neighbours wasn’t a smart move after all.

Then again, it could have nothing to do with the GP and just be nature flexing its muscles.

The trios return to @grandprixF1can #F1

The popular trios promotion will return of a third season at next June’s Grand Prix du Canada, the race promoter announced today.

The “trio” offers different seats in three different grandstands at three different spots around Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve for each of the three days of the F1 weekend. The 2015 Canadian Grand Prix goes June 7.

This time around there’s a new “econo” package that starts at $255. Two others, the “pole position” and Senna” start at $525 and $485 respectively. The tickets are limited and can be only purchased until Dec. 31, 2014.

We created this new way of having three different views of Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in 2013 with great success, and we kept it for 2014. Since then, thanks to the comments we’ve received from our customers, we have refined our offer and we are proud to have three new trios for 2015,” race promoter François Dumontier said in a release.

“With our new trios going on sale, our event now has a very wide range of products and prices to allow all race fans to experience our event up-close. There are now no fewer than twenty five (25) ways, and as many prices, to attend the 2015 F1 Grand Prix du Canada.”

Pole position: Senna corner for Friday practice, hairpin seats for qualifying, and start-finish line on race day. ($525)

Senna: hairpin seats for Friday practice, start-finish line for qualifying, and Senna corner on race day. ($485)

Econo: non-reserved seat in grandstand at exit of hairpin for Friday practice, turn 8 for qualifying, and Turn 6 on race day. ($255)

Fans can call the box office at 514‑350-0000 or 1-855-790-1245, seven days a week between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. to buy tickets or do so online at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve website or