Andretti Green Racing driver Danica Patrick has warned that the early rounds of the re-unified IndyCar Series could see more incidents as the former Champ Car teams get used to the intensity of oval racing in the IRL's top category.
The 26-year-old American believes that the IndyCar regulars will have to drive on tiptoe so as not to get tangled up in incidents through a lack of familiarity with their new rivals in this weekend's season-opener at the Miami-Homestead oval.
"The drivers who are more aggressive and take more chances, I think it's going to be a little bit more of a rollercoaster maybe for that style of driving with more accidents probably, and also to be able to leap forward quicker (after pit stops) and get back to the front," she said.
"It's probably all going to balance out in the end, but you're going to have to be really careful, especially until we get to know the tendencies of these drivers and who plays fair and who doesn't.
"I think it's going to be a tiptoe game at the beginning a little bit if you want to stay in the race, if you want to make sure you keep clean and stay in the race, which is the only way that you're going to win it at the end anyway. I think you're just going to have to be careful."
With the reunification of US single-seater racing happening so late prior to the start of the season, the majority of the IndyCar and former Champ Car drivers have yet to run on-track together.
And Patrick highlighted that this weekend's free practice sessions will be critical in establishing an on track code of conduct, with so many newcomers to the series.
"We're going to show them the ropes," she said. "They're going to see what it's like out there. They're going to see in practice what it's like, how chaotic it can be and close we run and how often we run that close.
"It's probably going to be an eye-opener for us."