Romain Grosjean stated dropping victory to Rinus Veekay taught him an necessary distinction between IndyCar races and System 1 grands prix.
Veekay got here from seventh on the grid to beat pole-winner Grosjean to victory in Saturday’s Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Grosjean admitted his rival made higher technique decisions through the race. However the Coyne/Rick Ware driver was happy along with his efforts after qualifying on pole place and taking second place within the race.
“We’ve had a robust automotive all weekend,” stated Grosjean within the press convention following Saturday’s race. “We had been main the race fairly simply within the first stint. We bought a bit unfortunate with site visitors and again markers. I believe that price us an opportunity to go for the win, but additionally Rinus was fairly quick on a unique technique. The proper one, I assume.”
“However we’ve carried out nice work,” he continued, “and sitting second in my third race beginning in IndyCar, it’s fairly huge. It’s a robust championship. There’s super-good expertise right here, super-fast drivers.”
After taking his first pole position for 10 years, Grosjean capped off the weekend along with his first single-seater podium because the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix.
“Yesterday I felt superb in quali,” he stated. “This morning within the warm-up we didn’t get fairly it proper and we made some adjustments for the race, and that labored effectively.”
He dealt with his first two-wide rolling begin and restart as a race chief with out issue, preserving his lead each occasions. “I believe I did a fairly good job on the first rolling begin main the sphere, saved myself first by means of the primary nook after which the restart felt a little bit bit extra pure to me, in order that was good, as effectively. And the automotive was very, very good.”
Attacking IndyCar is a novel problem for any driver, even one with 181 System 1 grand prix appearances below their belt. Grosjean stated he’s realized rather a lot over the course of his first three races.
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“What I realized from Barber, race one, was that from lap one to lap 85 or 100, wherever we’re going, you want to push each lap,” he stated.
“In System 1 usually you do the race begin, you push just a few laps after which issues quiet down and also you handle the gasoline and your tyres, you take a look at the hole. Whereas right here, totally different technique, yellows, pit closing and so forth, there might at all times be somebody coming a little bit bit out of the blue.”
Grosjean led a lot of the primary half of the race earlier than Veekay emerged as his fundamental risk for victory.
“Rinus was tremendous quick in pre-practice one in addition to within the warm-up within the cooler situations so I knew he was going to be good,” stated Grosjean. “He didn’t fairly make it to the Quick Six, that means he had some extra [softer] purple tyres accessible for the race, and he began on black.
“After I was catching the slower automotive, he pitted early from the blacks after which bought on reds and will get him freer, and I knew they had been below totally different technique, and it was going to be robust.”
Had the technique labored out to Grosjean’s benefit, he might have turn out to be the primary Dale Coyne Racing driver to win since Sebastien Bourdais on the streets of St Petersburg in 2018.
Whereas Grosjean’s jostling with Takuma Sato on the finish of his second stint performed out visibly on digital camera, and struggles on the black-sidewall main compound tyres finally price him the lead at first of the third stint, sarcastically it was time spent behind Bourdais through the fourth and ultimate stint of the race that sealed his second-place outcome.
“We had been a little bit bit much less aggressive on the blacks at this time, and likewise on the final stint I bought caught behind Sebastien Bourdais, [who] is a brilliant good driver. He was on a brand new tyre, I used to be on outdated reds and I couldn’t move him for a very long time till he truly locked up and went straight into flip one. I sort of killed my tyres and I might see Rinus about 4, 5 seconds forward and didn’t get an opportunity to return again to him.”
“In order that’s what I realized, you simply need to push all the way in which. Even when you’ve seven- or eight-second lead on the primary stint doesn’t imply you’re going to win the race.”
Grosjean will now hand his automotive to Pietro Fittipaldi for the Indianapolis 500 earlier than returning to the cockpit on the double-header Detroit Grand Prix on June Twelfth-Thirteenth.
“I nonetheless assume there’s a few areas we will work and enhance,” he stated. “That’s what we’re going to do. Clearly everybody goes to be busy the subsequent two weeks for the five hundred, however it’s an effective way to start out the month of Could for Dale Coyne Racing by RWR and an effective way for me to provide the automotive to Pietro Fittipaldi, the 51 automotive, and for him to have a superb month of Could.”
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