Like any racer, James Hinchcliffe is not one to turn down a win. But in the aftermath of the IZOD IndyCar Series race in Brazil, his opinions on how the final laps played out are very clear.
“Josef Newgarden should have won that race,” Hinchcliffe says. “Takuma [Sato] blocked Josef.
“I wouldn’t have caught him if it hadn’t been for him and Takuma racing as hard as they were. There’s just no way [Sato] should have been up there. Josef should have won, I should have been second, and Marco should be leading the championship.”
When asked about Beaux Barfield’s decision to allow Sato to continue instead of penalizing him for blocking, Hinchcliffe’s views are telling.
“I think it was the wrong decision,” he says, “and I think if you actually asked race control now what they think they probably would have done it differently.”
And the reason Hinchcliffe is so confident that the result would be different today: the matter was discussed at length at the drivers-only meeting in Indianapolis earlier this week. Interestingly, though, Hinchcliffe shares that in that meeting he never needed to vocalize his position on the matter.
“I didn’t have to say a thing in the meeting,” Hinchcliffe shares. “All the other drivers did it for me and did it for Josef.
“I think moving forward we’ll see it maybe a little bit stricter in certain areas.”
As part of the Indianapolis 500 media tour yesterday, James Hinchcliffe spoke with More Front Wing on a wide variety of topics, including:
- His qualifying effort and preparations for the 97th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing: “We definitely aren’t the quickest Andretti car in qualifying trim, and we know why. There was something that I think was wrong, and we fixed it for Sunday in race trim and the car felt a lot better.”
- The dominance of Chevrolet this far in the Month of May: “We’ve seen this movie before … so despite what we’ve seen in qualifying nobody with a Chevy is thinking this is going to be a cakewalk.”
- The exceptional performance of rookie teammate Carlos Muñoz: “I said [to Carlos], ‘You know what sucks for you, man, is if you do [win], you’re still only the second Colombian rookie to win the race because Montoya did it, so you’re not even going to be special.’ And Montoya qualified second that year, just FYI.”
- His preparations for running a 500-mile race and two full-length street course races in an eight-day stretch: “Whether we like it or not, it’s coming … You can’t train the way you want to. You can’t even train the way you would normally during a week for a normal single-header, and we need to be technically training twice as hard.”
- And a funny anecdote about the story that led to his stance on race day superstitions.
To hear Hinchcliffe’s views on all of these topics and much more, tune in to this week’s More Front Wing podcast, to be published on Thursday morning on iTunes and here at MoreFrontWing.com.