The last thing Simon Pagenaud wants in Sunday’s Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park is a repeat performance of what happened two weeks ago at Long Beach.
Pagenaud was heading to what could have potentially been a win until Will Power made contact with him, breaking the front wing on Pagenaud’s car and requiring an unscheduled pit stop to install a new one.
Pagenaud attributed the contact with Power, as well as some of the other incidents during the race, to race officials not better explaining what drivers could and couldn’t do on the track prior to the green flag.
Series officials, including IndyCar race director Beaux Barfield and a new three-man panel of race stewards, have given drivers more flexibility this season in policing themselves on-track.
But in light of several incidents at Long Beach, Pagenaud hopes officials will be more clear in explaining the rules during Sunday’s driver’s meeting before the race begins.
“If [Barber] is similar to Long Beach in terms of rules, it’s going to get pretty crazy pretty quick,” Pagenaud told several media outlets. “We are racers. We all want to win. We all try to get into a gap that’s sometimes too small.
“There needs to be some regulation sometimes that tells us what we can or cannot do. Right now, to be very honest with you, I don’t know what’s allowed or what is not allowed. It’s still a very grey area. I’m hopeful that it will be fixed for Barber and we will have a much better understanding.”
To his credit, Power attempted to apologize after the race, but Pagenaud rebuffed Power’s efforts. Pagenaud still hasn’t accepted Power’s mea culpa, and instead will likely hold a grudge for the remainder of the season as a result.
“I’m still disappointed in his actions, although I understand racing can be tough sometimes,” Pagenaud said of Power. “I may make the same mistake someday, may not be proud of myself. But it’s a shame. It really ruined my race.
“I guess he set the tone for the rest of the season. We’re going to be racing hard against each other. I’m pleased actually that we’re that high up in the championship to be chasing him. That’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to try to be racing hard. I’ll try to be as clean as I can be.”
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