September 20, 2023

Ericsson pulls out final Indy 500 red flag call, others disagree

Marcus Ericsson’s disappointment over his narrow loss to Josef Newgarden in Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 was compounded by what he said was a mistaken decision by race officials to throw a late red flag and end a one-lap sprint to setting up the finish line to prevent the race from ending underwater. caution.

Ericsson took the lead on the previous restart with five laps to go, only for another crash towards the back of the field forcing the race to be stopped again. Instead of circulating the field under yellow, race control halted the race during cleanup. The cars were sent out again on lap 198 for a lap behind the pace car before going green for the final lap, whereupon Newgarden attacked Ericsson exiting turn 2 and made a winning pass for the lead.

“I think it was a hard way to finish the race,” said the 2022 Indy 500 winner. “I don’t quite agree with how we did that. I don’t think that was a fair way to end the race.

“There weren’t enough laps to do what we did. I don’t think it’s safe to go out of the pits for a restart with cold tires when half the field is still trying to get on track when we go green. I don’t think it’s a fair way to end the race. I don’t think it’s a good way to end the race. So I can’t agree with that.

“I don’t think there were enough laps to go when the yellow came, so I think it should have ended under yellow.”

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Ericsson said he has no plans to tackle the finish line with the series, but admitted it will take some time to make peace with a day when he felt he and his team did everything perfectly under their control , only to be denied by something that was out of their hands.

“I’m disappointed because I think we did everything right,” he said. “When that red came out so late I thought I was a little late, so I thought when the yellow came out with three laps to go, whatever, in my world we are not going to restart that race.

“But it is what it is. You have to play with the cards you’re dealt, and I think we did well today. We did everything right. I did everything right. You can’t do more than that.

“Josef is a worthy champion and I congratulate him on that. But it’s kind of hard to accept how it ended. That’s my feeling. But I am very proud of our efforts and our achievements today.”

However, Tony Kanaan – who finished 16th in his IndyCar swan song – believed the race control’s decision to chase a green flag finish was the right one, pointing to the criticism he received after his own Indy 500 win under yellow in 2013.

“We have to think about the show,” he said. “The biggest complaint we had every year was not being allowed to finish a race under yellow. That’s going to hurt someone. Actually, there are now 32 guys angry, and one guy is happy. That’s the reality.

“Could they have called it sooner? Yes. Could have, could have, could have been, but we ended up under green, and the fans kept asking us that.

“I won under yellow and everyone hated it at some point. Easy for me to say, because I’m not participating [Ericsson’s] shoes. I mean, look at this place. Do we really want to end up under yellow with all those people out there? It was the right decision for me.”

Santino Ferrucci, who finished third, was in step with the Brazilian veteran.

“I don’t care what IndyCar did,” he said. “I just think Marcus has a slightly different opinion, which is totally cool because he finished second. It’s hard to sit there third because there’s nothing you can do but watch. That’s where the bittersweet comes in.”

Story originally appeared on Racer

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