INDYCAR: Montoya blames Rossi interference

INDYCAR: Montoya blames Rossi interference

IndyCar

INDYCAR: Montoya blames Rossi interference

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Team Penske’s Juan Pablo Montoya was the only member of his four-car team to miss transferring into the Firestone Fast Six, and he lays the blame squarely on the shoulders of fellow Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi.

The Colombian missed getting through the second round of qualifying – the Fast 12 – after Rossi’s Andretti Herta Autosport No. 98 Honda and the No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda of James Hinchcliffe ran close together and sped up or slowed down as Hinchcliffe did his best to deal with non-functioning shift lights. With the Canadian shifting too early or too late on the rev limiter, Rossi dealt with the fluctuating gap by altering his speed accordingly. That chain reaction also caused Montoya to lose speed in the No. 2 Chevy.

“The 98 he backed up, and then he backed off and got into me, and I was fast enough to make it [into the Fast 12],” Montoya said. “It’s a shame. We were high enough to be in [the Fast 12] in the end and he backed off.”

Montoya, who was seen entering the Verizon IndyCar Series trailer that houses the competition department and race stewards after the session, wanted to make sure Rossi, who qualified 16th, paid for the perceived transgression.

“I’m going to talk to IndyCar because he deserves to be penalized,” Montoya added. “If everybody is getting penalized, he needs to get penalized as well.”

Rossi felt a similar level of frustration as well, but did not single out any specific drivers.

“I’m very upset to have our qualifying session go that way,” he said. “We had a car that was good enough to be in the top six and to have our laps aborted because of traffic and red flags is more than disappointing. We have a lot of work to do tomorrow.”

IndyCar stripped Hinchcliffe of his two fastest laps as a result of the incident, and he will start last.

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