While testing resumed this week of its DW12 IndyCar chassis, Dallara says it is still waiting to get access to Dan Wheldon's wrecked car to fully analyze the crash.
"We don't yet have proper data because Wheldon's car is still confiscated," company boss Gian Paolo Dallara told Autosprint
. "We know, like everyone saw on TV, that the multiple collision was started by a car that slowed down at turn entry. It was not a major slow-down, in fact it was not very considerable: at most it was by 10 or 20 percent.
"But at that speed of about 350kph [217mph], when you travel two or three abreast on the banking, even such a small speed reduction is enough to generate a multiple collision. And when wheels touch, the cars are thrown up in the air. It's fatal. The phenomenon of cars lifting off in wheel-to-wheel contact represents the most serious risk in single-seater races, unfortunately."
Dallara added that he did not believe the high speed of Wheldon's initial collision with another car necessarily directly contributed to the outcome – cars were averaging 220mph-plus prior to the accident, and he suggested that the outcome would have been similar below 200mph.
"No, it wouldn't have changed a thing, unfortunately," Dallara said. "If at that time the cars had traveled even 70 or 80kph [45-50mph] slower, it wouldn't have made any difference in the dynamics.
"If two wheels that rotate in the same direction touch even at just 50kph [31mph], the car behind shoots up in the air. There's nothing you can do. We see that in European racing, too, when there's a contact at slower speeds."
He also insisted that the new design will significantly contribute to the reduction in airborne accidents in the future.
"The entire project of the new 2012 car had already been conceived with the aim of lowering the risks of lifting off from wheel-to-wheel contact," said Dallara. "We have operated in two directions: a rear protection and a lateral one.
"At the rear, we have placed two bits of bumper-like bodywork behind the driving wheels in order to stop front-wheel-to-rear-wheel contact. But risk can come from lateral contact, too, when the wheels of two single-seaters interlock with each other. This is why the bodywork of the new chassis is very different: it's wider and it extends laterally to the outer edge of the rear wheel.
"This way, the wheels can't interlock anymore by the sidepods, and the lift-off effect should be prevented."