12 May 2012
Indy 500: Newgarden tops Opening Day times
"We haven't done a lot yet. I guess everyone is waiting around because nobody really wants to show their hand at the moment. We'll see how it goes," said Jakes. "Today we were trying to work a little bit on the Race Day setup. I think we've got a pretty good car here. We weren't looking at qualifying stuff yet, we'll probably try to do that in the midpoint of next week. During the shakedown, we wanted to make sure everything was how we thought it would be, and it was - I'm pretty confident."
With engines and tyres still limited, some drivers like James Hinchcliffe opted not to run on the first day and wait instead for later in the week before getting going.
"It was definitely a bummer to not run the Go Daddy car on Opening Day, but it's all part of the bigger plan and the bigger picture," said Hinch, who was looking rather different this weekend after having to shave off his trademark beard as the result of losing a bet.
"With the number of tires we have for the month, we decided to save them for when the track is a little more rubbered-in," the mayor of Hinchtown continued. "One of the benefits of having a five-car team is that we had teammates on track today to get a little data for us. So we have some data from the cars and engines and have something to start getting to work on and can build on that right off the bat before we even turn a wheel."
Jean Alesi continued to get settled in to the IndyCar way of life and turned another 32 laps on the 2.5-mile speedway. He did not attempt to finish phase 3 of ROP on Saturday, and his best lap of the day was 209.438mph.
His fellow former F1 graduates Takuma Sato and Rubens Barrichello were also in action, although in Sato's case he only took a newly-built car out for a quick shakedown tour.
"It was a short day of work with a long amount of time waiting, which is natural," said Sato. "It was the very first day of practice, and we obviously rebuilt the car for the oval, and the boys did a fantastic job. I am so pleased to see all the functions working really well."
Barrichello out in more laps, but was left scratching his head at a lack of pace by the end which saw his best time capped at 215.340mph.
"We didn't have the speed for some reason [even though] I had the same setup as my teammates," he said. "However, it is very good we have had this at the beginning of the week, so we can analyse and see what's wrong.
"I felt comfortable in the car and improved my speed from ROP on Thursday, but it is not as fast as what we had expected," he added. "We have a lot of work to do for tomorrow and the rest of the week."
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