Former Formula One and IndyCar Series driver Derek Daly says that most of the safety features in a Formula One car today came from IndyCar. Speaking to Paddock Eye during a Zoom conference call on Saturday, the Dubliner who now resides in the United States says that the strength of the tub in an F1 car was as a direct result of IndyCar.
Speaking about his move to IndyCar from Formula One, Daly said that he knew Williams were looking elsewhere he didn’t want to move to another team as he believed that would be a step down as the Williams team had finished the 1982 season in fourth place in the Constructors championship.
Daly says that Formula One’s ability to arrive fast at the scene of an accident fast was learnt from IndyCar. For example, the medical car would not have to the scene of Romain Grosjean’s crash in Bahrain so fast had the accident happened later in the race as the car was still on track returning to the pit lane following the start of the race.
The NTT IndyCar Series have a dedicated safety team, the AMR Safety team, comprised of paramedics and fire fighters who travel to the races with the NTT IndyCar Series so the drivers can relax knowing that the team who arrive at the scene of an accident know them whereas in F1 the marshals at the track are usually brought in from local racing clubs.
Daly says that he feels that the Halo developed by Formula One is better than the Aeroscreen brought in by the NTT IndyCar Series as he simply doesn’t like the windscreen as he doesn’t necessarily like the look of the car as you can’t see the drivers helmet.
Speaking about how he got involved in IndyCar, Daly said that he was in Las Vegas for the final Grand Prix of the 1982 Formula One season and he received a phone call from someone who asked him if he would be interested in racing in the following weeks IndyCar race in Phoenix. Daly arrived at the track having never seen an oval let alone raced on one and was classified in 25th place.
Speaking about his first race in IndyCar, Daly says he knew it was going to be a step down from Formula One but he didn’t realize that although an F1 car was faster from 0-100mph an IndyCar was faster getting from 100-200mph.
Daly says he went into the 1982 off-season knowing he would not be returning to the Williams F1 Team after the Grove based outfit chose to sign Jacques Laffite so he decided to pursue a career in IndyCar.
It was announced on Friday that Conor Daly will return to Ed Carpenter Racing for the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season and Derek says that he is happy to see some continuity in Conor’s career as it is the first time that he has gone into a second year with a team.and Derek says that Conor already talks to both teams as he will be in a different team for the three ovals races in 2021.
Paddock Eye understands the team Daly will drive for will be Carlin where he will once again share the No.59 Gallagher Chevrolet with Max Chilton although this has yet to be confirmed.