IZOD IndyCar Series: Honda Indy Toronto
Topics: Honda Indy Toronto
July 14, 2013
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Sebastien, on the back-to-back podiums.
We're now joined by Helio Castroneves who finished second today and maintains the championship points lead by 29 over Scott Dixon.
Talk about today's race.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Great day for us, another day. Certainly coming over here, Hitachi guys did a helluva job preparing the car. Man, I think it's probably one of the fastest cars I've had since early days in CART. I was really on rails. I was really comfortable.
After yesterday, unfortunately got caught in a yellow in Friday's qualifying, so started eighth. Saturday's qualifying we were able to start in front, which was great. We packed all our chips today, took a chance in the setup of the car, and it paid off.
First of all, the standing start was awesome. I enjoy it very much. I had an awesome start. That's probably why I like it. I heard the fans enjoy it. There's a big thumbs up for the series to try that. I'm glad we're going to keep improving other things, details, that's going to make it better. But certainly it was a big thumbs up for that.
We had a great car. But unfortunately our great car wasn't good enough to finish first because Scott and Ganassi, they had a better car than us.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.
Q. Helio, Dixon was so dominant today, even on the restarts. Any point during this race when you thought you might catch him?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: When we put the black tires, my car was actually a little bit better, especially after warmup. I said, Wow, the car looks really strong. I said, Okay, with myself, I really thought we have a shot at the least. But he opened up a lead about six, seven seconds before we got traffic. Then it was a very tough one on that area.
When I got traffic, people coming out of the pits, it was absolutely ridiculous what they were thinking. I was very disappointed with some of the fellow drivers. We lost a lot of time there. It was about 13 seconds. We were never able to recover.
That was the only point I thought we had a chance. But once he was 13 second ahead, I was like, Wow, this is going to be very tough to deal with.
Q. You know at the point in the season when you're thinking very hard about how to get a championship out of this. You've had Ryan Hunter-Reay chasing you for a long time. He had a tough day. Now you're dealing with Scott Dixon. Does that change your approach to the rest of the season in any way?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: No, our approach is the same. That's what got us here. Hopefully with that same kind of consistency, mentality, when we have a car to go for it, we go for it. I think with that kind of thinking, it's going to take us there, as well.
Q. Dixon is coming. He seems to be coming fast. Even though your points lead stayed about the same as it was when you left Pocono, now he's the guy on your tail instead of Ryan Hunter-Reay. How do you see this whole thing shaping up?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Well, both are champions. I think they've been there. We just got to keep focused on our work. I'm not worried less or more because it's Scott. The same thing was with Ryan. They're both great teams.
But I trust my guys. I know we have the best equipment, the best guys out there. We know what we capable. That's what we're focused on at this point.
Q. How much do you want to win the championship? How much of a goal is this for you?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Interesting, when you have opportunities like I have, I want as bad as anybody. Especially having those guys behind me, I have that chance. Experienced guys, experienced teams.
When you put yourself in this position, yes, I'm going to fight as much as I can. If I have a good car to finish, I will finish strong. If I don't have a good car to finish, I'll play smart. You use different strategies, ways to put us there. That's what's happening at this point.
So I want it more than anybody.
Q. Tell me about the physicality of today's race and how draining the weekend has been. Do you think the two race weekend format is safe?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Good question. I think the first race, I don't think it was a lot of yellows, but it was different. People didn't know how it's going to go, the track, tires, things like that. In fact, I finished the race, Wow, it wasn't that bad in terms of physical.
But running in front, pushing as hard as I could to keep up with Scott and the rest of the field, you felt it. I felt it. Plus we didn't have any yellows today. I think everybody behaved different than Detroit. So when you have that kind of scenario for two hours pushing and pushing and pushing, it was certainly fatigue, I have to admit.
But I'm glad that my trainer Carlos is working over 10, 12 years with me. Yup, I'm there.
Q. The restarts with 10 to go, they lined the lap traffic up. That played into how much you could go after Scott on the one restart. Do you like that rule?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: No. I think it was 15 laps to go, wasn't it? What are you going to do, 15 laps to go? You're not going to lap the field, you're not going to get your lap back. It's very unusual for you to be very lucky, get your lap back, have a very good finish.
But, saying that, it's the rules. I think we should review that kind of scenario because even if I would be in that situation, which I've been, it's not fun 'cause what are you doing there? You're in the middle of the leaders and you can cause a big mess.
Yes, I wasn't happy. Finally with 10 laps to go, there was another car there, at least we were able to do it. But I wish they change that rule.
Q. Were you having to contend with Graham?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Graham, Simona and someone else. Three cars actually. It was the 4 car. First, where do I line up? Second, exactly what you going to do? I know they're a lap down. Graham and Simona were fighting for position. That's what they told me. I don't know what is the position, 15? That's my point. Nothing will pass Scott because he was in a league of his own, I tell you. It could create more emotion for everyone. But I think they should review that, instead of 10 laps.
Q. You said you enjoyed the standing starts. Came off without a hitch. Can you see this becoming a normal happening on other street courses, a road course here and there?
HELIO CASTRONEVES: I think it should. At least something different. Detroit, Toronto, at least they could becoming the only place to be standing starts. Not only one race, but two races.
But, yes, you're right, we got to review a little bit some of the tracks that we're able to do that. You guys tell me, but it sounds like the fans enjoy it. It could becoming something like that, for sure.
THE MODERATOR: Helio, congratulations on the podium. Thanks for your time.
HELIO CASTRONEVES: Thank you.
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