As a driver for a small, one-car team, Alex Tagliani is heartened by the shift taking place at the top of the IZOD IndyCar Series at the moment.
“The Series is good enough now that with a bit of experience on the cars and with a good car it doesn’t really matter where you are and who you race for,” he says. “I think you can still have a shot at winning.”
That’s why the rumor that the Series is discussing allowing custom aero kits at superspeedways next year puts him ill at ease.
“When you start opening up to aero kits, the budget’s going to skyrocket,” Tagliani points out. “It was great to see Takuma Sato and Ed Carpenter doing all kinds of special things against the big teams, and that’s because the Series has made this car equal and everybody has a chance to shine.
“If you start increasing the budget by a lot of money and the TV package is not good enough and you can’t bring sponsorship in to fulfill this increase in budget, then the disparity between the big teams and the small teams is going to continue.
“I just hope that whatever decision they make, and now with Derrick Walker as Director of Competition and him having been a big team and a small team in his career as a team owner, he will have good judgment and he will take the best decision.”
Tagliani also had some strong words for the way that the end of the São Paulo race was handled by INDYCAR.
“We need to figure out as a Series what is the damn rule,” he says. “If it keeps changing, it’s going to piss off half of the field that are trying to respect the rule [when] half of the field are getting away with [not following] it.
“Takuma Sato’s move could be okay if the rule changed, but if the rule stays the same and he doesn’t get penalized then it opens up problems.
“Who is going to get away with it, and who is going to have the guts to try and prove that you can continuously get away with it?”
Tagliani also stressed the need for strict and consistent rule enforcement.
“Once we clarify exactly what the rule is, I hope that they’re going to keep putting penalties,” he says. “The more penalties they give when you don’t respect the rules, the more drivers are going to respect it.”
As part of the Indianapolis 500 media tour earlier this week, Alex Tagliani spoke with More Front Wing on a wide variety of topics, including:
- Being the top-qualified Honda for Indianapolis: “For us, honestly, qualifying 11th was almost as good as being on the pole because it was pretty clear from the beginning of the week that the Chevys had an advantage.”
- Whether Honda can once again be strong in the race this year: “I’m sure that Honda will come up with something. I’m positive.”
- The challenge of the upcoming double-header weekends: “I really hope that the fans are going to love the weekend because it’s going to be a really big test for the team … I think the fans don’t realize how hard it is for a group of guys to get the car ready after a race. The car is damaged, the gearbox has to be reprepped, the halfshaft has to be rebuilt – there’s so many little details on a car to get it back ready for a race weekend, and now they’re going to have to do that in 12 hours.”
- And the additional hurdle of being a single-car team at those events: “We’ve heard all week long at Indianapolis that people have copied setups from teammates, and we’re practising there for a week! … For us as a one-car team, it will be very crucial to unload quick.”
- His hopes for the remainder of the season: “In the next 15 races, there’s no doubt in my mind that we could, if everything falls into place on a weekend, definitely have a chance to win.”
To hear Tagliani’s views on all of these topics and much more, tune in to this week’s More Front Wing podcast, to be published tomorrow morning on iTunes and here at MoreFrontWing.com.