Indy 500 drivers have expressed their concerns regarding tire issues during practice, including vibrations, cording, and blistering.
They fear that these problems may affect the race, particularly toward the end of tire stints.
The teams have been pushing for performance by using high degrees of camber, which has led to blistering on some tires and complaints from drivers about vibrations and cording.
Firestone has used a similar tire compound to last year’s, but with the addition of a synthetic rubber made from recycled butadiene, derived from post-consumer plastic waste.
Will Power from Team Penske noted that the left-side tires are softer and tend to degrade more easily.
He mentioned experiencing vibrations in every set of tires he used, some of which were severe enough to require a pit stop.
The specific tire affected depends on which side slides more during the race.
If a driver encounters an early issue, such as with the left-rear tire, they may need to pit around lap 18.
Power believes that tire degradation could lead to better racing, especially on a hot day, but it might become challenging on colder days.
The weather forecast for the race at Indianapolis indicates temperatures in the range of 75F-78F.
Conor Daly from Ed Carpenter Racing, starting from 16th on the grid, expressed his focus on gaining positions during the later part of tire stints.
He observed that some teams were struggling with tire issues, including cords visible on the tires.
Daly himself experienced vibrations, and even one of the McLarens suffered cording and blistering within four laps of qualifying.
He anticipates interesting developments in tire wear during the race, particularly in the final five to eight laps of each stint.
Daly believes that most drivers will opt for fresh tires whenever they have the opportunity due to the increased downforce and load on the tires resulting from faster cars and the high-grip surface.
Simon Pagenaud, the winner of the 2019 race, considers tire degradation to be a strength of his car.
He mentioned that his qualifying run was the most consistent among the field, even though it lacked initial speed.
Pagenaud believes that managing tire performance could be crucial for him on race day.
He hopes for a green race with long stints, as high temperatures can reduce downforce and cause tire issues for many competitors.