Helio Castroneves was involved in a collision with Alexander Rossi during IndyCar’s short morning warmup session from Long Beach, and was not happy at all about it.
The incident occurred when Rossi came out of the pits directly in front of Castroneves, who was on a fast lap simulation.
Usually the 30-minute warmup session is simply used by teams to gauge fuel mileage and tire wear, with drivers commonly giving each other plenty of space.
That did not happen in this case, however, and Castroneves attempted to make it past the #27 car into the tight fountain corner in order to continue his fast run.
The space was not there, and the Meyer Shank Racing Honda suffered a broken left rear suspension after bouncing off the wall.
“The guy is coming out of the pits,” a very fired-up Castroneves told NBC after limping his car back to pit lane. “I’m the old guy here.
“He’s the one that has the mirrors, he should take a look in them to see what’s going on.
“Totally unnecessary! Totally unnecessary! It’s absolute insane, so I’m pissed off about it. Anyway, just calm down and move onto the race. But your turn, it will come.
“C’mon it’s ridiculous,” the most recent Indy 500 champion continued. “It’s a f***** warmup! It’s ridiculous! You gotta watch it.
“It’s ridiculous. It’s absolutely insane. Are you kidding around here?”
After storming away from the interview, Castroneves went back to the hauler while the rest of the field was able to continue running for the remaining 20 minutes of the session.
His crew will have two hours to make repairs, but will still have lost out on valuable track time leading up to the race. Castroneves will start from the third position in Sunday afternoon’s season finale.
Rossi’s team-mate Colton Herta ended up with the fastest time of the session, but it is unknown how many drivers were practicing long-run setups and the times are somewhat unrepresentative of overall pace.