Graham Rahal spins Tony Kanaan on final restart, costs both a likely podium finish at Houston

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Tony Kanaan showed that patience is one of his biggest strong suits in Saturday’s Race 1 of the Shell and Pennzoil IndyCar Grand Prix of Houston.

Kanaan was dumped on the final restart of the race by Graham Rahal, ending potential podium finishes for both drivers. Kanaan was running third at the time and Rahal fourth.

“I’ve gotta be professional, I have a team to defend and a lot of good sponsors, so I can’t do what I really want to do,” Kanaan said, showing incredible restraint, even though he had a look on his face that showed just the opposite.

“What a shame,” Kanaan said to NBCSN. “It was a great run. We fought all the way, all day long, and to be taken out like that, I think it’s stupid.

“But (Rahal) was having a good day, too, and ruined his day. I guess I wanted to believe the best, that he didn’t do it on purpose, he came over to apologize, but that still doesn’t take the frustration out of me.”

Kanaan’s car was undriveable after the contact, but Rahal was able to continue. He went over to Kanaan afterward to apologize.

“Obviously, I said I’m sorry,” Rahal said. “With the stack up on the restart, I was trying to keep the tires just as dry as I could. I was just to the left (of Kanaan) and when it stacked up, I just didn’t see him at all and got into the back of him.

“Obviously, this has happened about a hundred times this year, but it doesn’t make it right.”

Kanaan wound up recording a 13th-place finish, while Rahal was penalized 30 seconds for avoidable late-race contact. While he crossed the finish line third, the penalty pushed his eventual finish to 11th.

“I think if it had ended under green, we would have won this race for sure, and I feel confident saying that because I was moving by those guys in a hurry,” Rahal said. “But, shoulda, coulda, woulda. In the end, I made a mistake. That’s the way it goes.”

Added Kanaan, “It’s just a shame. Am I mad at him? Yes. Can I turn back time? No. So we have to turn the page and go on to tomorrow.”

Rahal also tried to look ahead.

“This car, I said last night that it could win today,” Rahal said. “We didn’t qualify as well as we thought we could of, but everybody saw there was nobody quicker than us on that racetrack.

“What can we do? We have to go back out there tomorrow, try to qualify a little better and run upfront.”

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‘No desire’ for Lewis Hamilton to race in Indianapolis 500

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Lewis Hamilton has ruled out a future appearance in the Indianapolis 500, saying he has “no real plans” to do any serious racing once his time in Formula 1 is over.

Former teammate and current McLaren driver Fernando Alonso took part in the 101st running of the Indy 500 in May, qualifying fifth and running high up the order before retiring late on with an engine issue.

The F1-to-IndyCar crossover proved to be one of the biggest motorsport stories of the year, and has stirred the imagination of other drivers to make a similar step into other events in the future, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans which is known to be on Alonso’s radar as well as that of Haas racer Romain Grosjean.

Three-time F1 world champion Hamilton admired 2017 Indy 500 winner Takuma Sato’s victory ring when on the podium at the Japanese Grand Prix earlier this month, trying it on and joking it may spur him to enter the race to try and win the jewelry.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, Hamilton stressed he made the comment in jest, saying he holds not interest in entering the ‘500.

“Honestly it hasn’t inspired me to do the Indy 500,” Hamilton said.

“I’ve always respected it and appreciated it. I got to watch part of it when Fernando did it which I thought was super exciting. I love the idea of drivers being able to do more than one series.

“Just the other day I got to drive an F1 car on an oval circuit which was interesting. I have a huge amount of respect for those drivers as it is quite scary approaching those banks at the speeds that they do.

“I personally don’t have a desire to drive it. Maybe one day I will go out and have some fun.

“I have a lot of opportunities to do those kinds of things, but no real plans to do anything serious.”

Hamilton has previously said he would like to try a NASCAR race for fun one day, but has made clear his plan after his F1 career is over is to distance himself from racing in order to pursue other interests.