James Hinchcliffe: Banner ruined car performance, Max Chilton has no respect
Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports James Hinchcliffe was left wanting more after a lacklustre performance at the opening race of the NTT IndyCar season in St. Petersburg.
The Canadian driver had qualified in ninth-place after a tough qualifying session and was left with work to do throughout the race. After a solid push through the race with a three-stop strategy he finished sixth, however, it wasn't smooth sailing.
Later on a trackside banner, which lined the concrete wall on the pit exit, had been torn off by another car and fell onto the track, Hinchcliffe was unlucky enough to have picked it up on his #5 Arrow SPM car and be stuck with it for the latter stages of the race which ruined the cars aerodynamic performance.
Hinchcliffe was also unhappy with the traffic situation around the St. Petesburg circuit as he slammed Carlin's Max Chilton, who he felt had no respect as he was less than co-operative in allowing him to pass by to be lapped.
"It's not the finish we wanted," said Hinchcliffe. "The Arrow car, honestly, had more pace than that. The first stint we were stuck behind Graham (Rahal), and we weren't able to make up spots in that.
"About two-thirds of the way into the race, a banner started to come off in Turn 3, and unfortunately, a part of it wrapped around our front wing.
"These cars are so aero-sensitive that we lost a ton of downforce. Unfortunately, we got behind Chilton and he had no respect for lead lap cars. With the banner on the wing, I don't know if we would've made many more positions than that so we will take it.
"I think we've shown our competitiveness. We obviously didn't get where we needed in qualifying because of an issue we found after the fact. Our race pace was stronger than the end results, so we just have to go to Austin and execute every single day and every single lap of every session, and hopefully, we will be at the front."