Drivers divided on Indy 500 ‘dragon weave’ and pitlane entry utilization

The manoeuvre first appeared in 2019, when Simon Pagenaud used the tactic to maintain his rivals at bay on the best way to victory for Workforce Penske.

Lately, it has turn out to be extra prevalent – with some drivers swerving wildly off Flip 4 and into the pitlane entrance to discourage these following from utilizing their slipstream. Josef Newgarden used the transfer to assist him to defeat Marcus Ericsson on the ultimate lap on Sunday.


The automobiles then swerve to rejoin the racetrack simply forward of the pitwall attenuator, which is seen as one of the harmful areas on the legendary 2.5-mile oval. 

The strikes usually are not in opposition to IndyCar guidelines, because the main automotive is the instigator of the change of route quite than making a reactionary blocking transfer, and there aren’t any observe limits guidelines at IMS.

One driver, who didn’t want to be named, informed “Happening into the pitlane… You recognize, with the leaders, everybody has a transparent view, it’s high quality.

“However think about a bit additional again with automobiles two large and extra, and somebody finally ends up hitting that attenuator. I feel that’s when issues begin getting a bit unprofessional in a sure means.”

Sunday’s race winner Newgarden admitted after the race that he doesn’t “love” doing the transfer however was adamant that it’s a authorized and essential transfer beneath the present guidelines.

“It’s unattainable to not use that [dragon move] due to the benefit it’s to observe one automotive,” mentioned Newgarden. “I used to be about driving by way of pit lane. It was authorized is all I’m going to say.

“They have been very clear that they don’t seem to be imposing that [dotted pit entry] line, and so they didn’t implement it final yr. They mentioned they’re not imposing it once more, and I’m coming to the checkered flag and I’m going to do all the things I can to win this race, and I needed to be as aggressive as doable, as a result of the tow impact to simply the primary automotive was much more troublesome than final yr.

“[Ericsson] was like tremendous shut and had a very good run coming off [Turn] 4, and with that, I believed, I’ve received to be as aggressive as doable to not let him by.

“You have been only a sitting duck when you have been within the lead. Actually, I don’t love that.”

Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Patricio O’Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, Josef Newgarden, Workforce Penske Chevrolet

Picture by: Chris duMond / Motorsport Photos

Runner-up Ericsson weaved initially of the final-lap restart to maintain his lead and didn’t cross the pitlane entry line, however did go throughout it whereas desperately drafting Newgarden on the sprint to the road.

He mentioned: “I don’t suppose it was too unhealthy. For me, it’s high quality to maintain doing what we’re doing.”

When requested by for his ideas on weaving into the pitlane entry, third-placed finisher Santino Ferrucci replied: “I’ll be completely sincere, that’s a driver’s alternative proper there. I wouldn’t name a rule on it for observe limits. On the finish of the day, they’re risking their lives if one thing occurs and so they hit it, in order that’s on them.

“I didn’t personally go down there, and I’d be actually nervous of placing the automotive down that low with that momentum if one thing have been to occur. You’d appear to be an absolute moron when you wrecked on the attenuator attempting to interrupt the draft.

“However I’m not stunned they did it. You’re going to do something to win that race.”