IndyCar drivers gave the Aeroscreen its race debut in Texas last weekend and Penske's Josef Newgarden insists his car is now "a very different animal to drive".
The cockpit protection device, jointly developped Red Bull Advanced Technologies, Dallara and IndyCar, was chosen by the latter over Formula 1's halo concept and integrated into the series' DW12 chassis.
Extensive testing preceded the Aeroscreen's race debut at the Texas Motor Speedway for IndyCar's opening round of the 2020 season.
Newgarden, who secured pole for the Genesys 300, feels the component has shaved some downforce off his car compared to last year's contender.
"Max downforce was a lot harder this year than it was last year, part of that is the Aeroscreen, it has more weight," said the Penske charger.
"Mechanically it’s a little more difficult to drive with more weight up higher, higher [centre of gravity], forward weight distribution. Also the shaping of the Aeroscreen, it does have a very small downforce loss.
"The tyres are reacting differently with the weight. Not just having more weight but having the weight forward. It’s actually a very big shift for the tyres."
While a car's handling characteristics have been altered by the safety component's presence, Newgarden had no visibility issues to report.
"I didn’t notice the screen, to be quite honest with you," said Newgarden. "You can take that as a very good thing. I didn’t notice it. It felt like a normal IndyCar race to me.
"I didn’t notice a big difference to last year. The handling is different in the car, but as far as the driver’s experience, I don’t even [notice] the thing anymore.
"It’s crazy how good of a job they’ve done with the ducting. The visibility was fine. I had zero issues with it from that standpoint.
But the two-time IndyCar champion still described his car as a "very different animal to drive."
"Mechanically you had to work with it a lot," he said.