Q. When IndyCar calls it a wet start, does a team have to start on wet tires? Or can they try a strategic gamble if they see it's going to soon dry up and start on slicks and thus save themselves a pit stop?
A. Once the start is declared a wet start, drivers must start on wet tires – no option. However, we have considered, in the case of prospective changing conditions, that there could be a start that can be declared an Optional Tire start, meaning that teams have a choice of tire. That way, if there has been inclement weather but it is now clearing, that could certainly make a race interesting because teams at the back might gamble and create different scenarios, which could be good for our racing.
Q. Are you foreseeing any change to the points system?
A. That is an area where I'd look to historians and the teams for input. For now, no.
Q. Will session length be altered?
A. Not significantly. The only thing on my radar regarding that is whether we've implemented a schedule and/or tire allotment that doesn't give the teams incentive to be on track. That has often been the case in the recent past and I really want to look at ways to have our drivers and teams taking full advantage of every session, so that the fans benefit, too. Fans do not pay to go and watch a near-empty track. They pay to see their heroes in action.
Q. What's your time frame in establishing a new rulebook?
A. In my first five weeks, I was with a team of people including Will Phillips and his staff going through the rule book line by line and making it flow and make sense. It would be dangerous for me to start chopping things out because a lot of what's there has some value and there may be occurrences four or five races into the season where I'll say, “Oh, I should have kept that rule regarding X”. So it's a matter of me living with the rulebook for a year before I make massive changes to it.
Having said that, there have been major changes to the way it reads that takes a lot of the discretionary elements out of it and makes it a lot more black and white. That change in focus has given more responsibilities and rights to the competitors rather than infinitely empowering the officials. I'd say there will be much larger changes at the end of this season.