This was less of an issue because no penalties were assessed, unlike for Takuma Sato. But there was one other blocking brouhaha in Barber qualifying, between the usually jovial James Hinchcliffe, the St. Petersburg winner, and St. Petersburg polesitter Will Power.
Hinchcliffe failed to advance through to Q2, and blamed Power without doing so by name.
“Other drivers,” said Hinchcliffe when asked by IMS Radio what happened. “We’ve been struggling a bit this weekend but we had enough time to get into Q2. I caught a driver who was backing off, but then he took off, and backed off again. You get maybe 1 or 2 laps and you can’t do a cool off lap with these tires, but I had to do a cool off lap. He ends up P3 and we didn’t make it – it was frustrating.”
Power, cool and dry as ever, responded to the accusations in the post-qualifying press conference.
“I don’t think I blocked him actually. (E.J.) Viso checked me up,” Power said. “Those guys checked up in front of me. Yeah, I don’t know what he’s talking about. Blocking? Have to take a look at the video. Just whining because he didn’t get through, I think.”