Perhaps it was just venting in the face of an emotional, challenging weekend in front of his home fans. Or perhaps, he had a point.
Either way, James Hinchcliffe was not a happy camper in the aftermath of this weekend’s Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader weekend. Scott Dixon swept the weekend and Hinchcliffe had one eighth place, and a second race to forget after needing to fix a stuck throttle at the outset.
“I don’t think anybody likes them,” he told Wheels.ca after the race. “You have to have double-headers at all of them or none of them. I’ve said that since they announced these things. It’s not a fair way to do it.
“Nobody in the series will ever warm up to these,” he added. They’re too hard on the drivers, they’re too hard on the teams. You get so little practice, it’s so tough to get the car set up right.”
Hinchcliffe followed that line of thinking with a line that “it’s not about us,” and that if the fans want to see it and buy more tickets, then they need to try to way to make it work.
He’s not alone in questioning the doubleheader format. Earlier this year, in an exclusive interview with MotorSportsTalk, racing legend Mario Andretti said he personally wasn’t a fan of doubleheaders heading into Detroit.
“You want to have just one main event,” he told me.
Judging by the attendance, and particularly the increased Saturday attendances at both Detroit and Toronto, the promoters have to be happy with the financial increases. But what are some ways forward for IndyCar to modify or enhance the doubleheader weekend format?
More importantly, is Hinchcliffe right? Or was it just sour grapes because his Andretti Autosport, which has been on target the rest of 2013, missed the setup this weekend? Sound off in the comments.