IndyCar tackles testing tomorrow at Fontana

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A big group of IZOD IndyCar Series drivers are scheduled to test tomorrow at Auto Club Speedway, where the series will stage its 2013 season finale, the MAVTV 500, on Sat., Oct. 19. The session serves officially as a manufacturer test day for engine suppliers Chevrolet and Honda.

If you’re in the Southern California region, Auto Club Speedway is offering free admission for the session, which will take place tomorrow from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT.

Fans can access the track through its main gate (off of Cherry Avenue in Fontana) and follow signs to parking. Viewing will be staged above pit lane in the Terrace Suite rooftops.

Among those scheduled to test tomorrow according to INDYCAR:

Andretti Autosport – Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay and E.J. Viso
Dragon Racing – Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Saavedra
Ed Carpenter Racing –  Ed Carpenter
KV Racing Technology – Tony Kanaan and Simona De Silvestro
Panther Racing – Oriol Servia
Team Penske – Helio Castroneves and Will Power
A.J. Foyt Racing – Takuma Sato
Dale Coyne Racing – Pippa Mann and Justin Wilson
Chip Ganassi Racing – Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti and Charlie Kimball
Rahal Letterman Lanigan – James Jakes and Graham Rahal
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing – Josef Newgarden
Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports – Simon Pagenaud
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – Tristan Vautier

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”