11:05 AM CT (John)– Mikhail Aleshin just held court here in the Media Center, and after making a grand entrance still wearing sunglasses to the podium, and he gave some very entertaining answers on a variety of questions.
Aksed if he needed to show more patience on track: “Sometimes we all need to show more patience.”
Aleshin didn’t hear A.J. Foyt’s comments, but assumed (correctly) that they were negative. Mikhail stuck to his guns though and reiterated that in his opinion Sato was at fault for forcing him into the wall.
Before leavin, Aleshin gave us this gem when Steph asked him about Sebastien Bourdais’s comments about trying to avoid him.
“That would be nice,” Mikhail said, a wry smile spreading across his face.
10:41 AM CT (Steph) — I was just given a very important piece of information from someone who asked not to be named but who you can take my word as being very active on the radio during races and highly reliable for this sort of thing.
This person informed me that the basis for the penalty and probation to Marco Andretti and Andretti Autosport was a radio call to Hinchcliffe during the incident in question in which the team told James, “Marco is in front of Sato. He’s going to hold him up.”
That makes the demonstration of team collusion a bit more definitive and explains why INDYCAR felt the need to issue penalties to deter others from making similar moves in the future.
10:20 AM CT (Steph) – We asked Firestone how the new wet tires performed in their first race-time conditions yesterday, and they told us they were very happy with the results. From Firestone Racing:
“Firestone Racing was quite pleased with the debut performance of our new IndyCar rain tires at the Shell and Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston on Saturday,” said Dale Harrigle, Chief Engineer and Manager of Race Tire Development for Firestone Racing. “The Firestone rain tires performed flawlessly on a drying track until most of the drivers changed to dry tires around lap twenty-five. Drivers reported good grip and balance in the wet, with their lap times continuing to get faster as the track dried. The worn appearance of the tires was excellent. The success of this new tire is a tribute to the hard work and collaboration between our engineers and scientists in our Advanced Tire Engineering Group and Race Tire Development.”
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