Judging by this brief onboard with Alexander Rossi, IndyCar's aeroscreen doesn't need wipers to do a good job of keeping visibility clear when its raining
Wet weather made for limited running during IndyCar’s open test at COTA last month but it did allow for some drivers to go out and experience what it was like to use IndyCar’s new Red Bull-developed aeroscreen in rainy conditions.
When F1 was looking for a head protection solution a few years ago, many armchair experts seemed quick to dismiss the idea of having any sort of screen due to the likes of rain and grime potentially obscuring the driver’s vision. But, as you can see from this onboard of Alexander Rossi following teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, everything looks absolutely fine.
OK, so it’s only a small sample size, and it’s not exactly torrential conditions, but feedback from all of the drivers was pretty positive, with Will Power only discovering one easily fixable problem.
“The aeroscreen is great - the rain just clears, and there was no fogging. But the rain does drip in on your steering wheel and on your visor. It would be an easy fix with just a little lip [on top of the screen frame].
“You don’t even recognise there’s a screen there. You’re focused way up there, not what’s right here [near your face].”
The curvature of the screen means that fitting wipers like on a sports prototype isn’t an option, but the combination of hydrophobic coatings and tear-offs that can be removed at pit stops should be more than good enough to deal with whatever ends up on the screen, wet or dry.
We haven’t got long to wait until we see the first race with the aeroscreen in use - the opening round of the 2020 season takes place on 15 March.