Alexander Rossi brands Takuma Sato 'disgraceful' after opening lap crash

Alexander Rossi has branded IndyCar rival Takuma Sato "disgraceful" after an opening lap crash during Sunday's ABC Supply 500 at Pocono.

Rossi, who started second behind title rival Josef Newgarden, got a poor start and dropped down the order and found himself sandwiched between Ryan Hunter-Reay and Takuma Sato. The Japanese racer then cut across prematurely, forcing Rossi into Hunter-Reay which led to a five-car pile-up and an extended red flag.

Speaking after the incident, Rossi squarely put the blame on Sato and branded his move "disgraceful" considering last year's incident involving Robert Wickens, which left the Canadian with severe injuries.

"We were three-wide. Ryan on the inside, I was in the middle and Takuma on the outside. I can't even begin to understand how after last year, how Takuma thinks that any sort of driving like that is acceptable.

"To turn across two cars at speed in a 500-mile race is disgraceful, it's upsetting and might cost us the championship."

Asked about his start, Rossi added: "I didn't get a good start, so that's on me. Not a gearing issue, probably just my fault. Josef was going slow, accelerating slowly, I wasn't reacting well enough. Nothing he did wrong. I lost a couple of spots that put us in that position, it's disappointing."

Felix Rosenqvist and James Hinchcliffe were also taken out of the race, with the former being transferred to hospital for further checks after he contacted the catch fence, though it's been confirmed Rosenqvist does not have life-threatening injuries and was able to walk afterwards.