Castroneves still does not agree with call UPDATE Helio Castroneves called Izod IndyCar Series rules "subjective" and the officiating of chief steward Brian Barnhart "inconsistent" at a media gathering during testing this week at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
The comments were made Wednesday, two days after he was fined $60,000 and placed on probation for the rest of the season for his tirade in Edmonton after Barnhart penalized him for blocking Team Penske teammate Will Power.
|Helio Castroneves in Edmonton|
Barnhart ruled that Castroneves, who was leading the race, was wrong to be in the passing lane entering turn one of the airport road course. Power couldn't complete the pass on the outside. Scott Dixon won the race.
"The rules are very subjective and there have been inconsistent calls over many years," Castroneves said. "I was penalized in 2008 (in Detroit), and since then it's been very inconsistent.
"That's one of the reasons that it's becoming hard, and that's why I don't agree because it happened during the race, the same thing, and the calls were not made the same way. You just can't keep pushing.
"I understand it's a very difficult way to call sometimes and difficult to see everyone."
The Brazilian asked that the rule be changed because it is unfair to the leader. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said a change could occur for 2012 when the new cars have a system that prevents the interlocking of wheels.
"I never intended to give the guy an easy way, let's put it that way," Castroneves said. "You want to go for it and fight hard, especially with two laps to go.
"I gave plenty of room for (Power) on the inside and outside. I don't think I moved the lane, but again, the call is already made and I think the punishment has been made, and it is what it is. I'm ready to move on." Indy Star08/05/10 Helio Castroneves has apologized for his behavior following last month's Izod IndyCar Series race in Edmonton. He apparently still doesn't agree with the decision that penalized him 20 seconds, dropping him from the lead with less than three laps to go to 10th place. Chief steward Brian Barnhart said Castroneves improperly took the passing lane away from Will Power.
The following is Castroneves response to three questions from reporters at Infineon Raceway. The Brazilian was at the track this week testing for the Aug. 22 race in Sonoma, Calif.:
I'm curious because you apologized on your Web site for you behavior, but said you didn't agree with the penalty from Edmonton. What don't you agree with?
First of all, the rules are very subjective and there have been inconsistent calls over many years. I was penalized in 2008 (in Detroit in a situation that involved Justin Wilson), and since then it's been very inconsistent. That's one of the reasons that it's becoming hard and that's why I don't agree because it happened during the race, the same thing, and the calls were not made the same way. You can't just keep pushing. I understand it's a very difficult way to call sometimes and difficult to see everyone. I know it's a tough job, but certainly I do feel this is a great opportunity to change the rules and be clear to everybody else. That's why I don't agree, but again, I have no excuse to react the way I react. I'm an emotional person, and unfortunately I let my emotions take over. I want to be clear, people might not understand, but I wasn't confronting any officials; I basically was asking them to call Brian Barnhart and ask him why he made that call. It's no excuse to have acted like I acted. I apologize again and I'm ready to move on and go to Mid-Ohio.
You said you had never changed your racing line in Edmonton. As you look back on the replays, do you feel the same way?
I never intended to give the guy an easy way, let's put it that way. If you want to go for it and fight hard, especially with two laps to go. I gave plenty of room for him on the inside and outside. I don't think I moved the lane, but again the call is already made and I think the punishment has been made, and it is what it is. I'm ready to move on. I am disappointed, but there's nothing I can do right now.
Edmonton was the second time a race win was taken away from you by a call from the officials, and now you're on probation for the remainder of the year. How does that affect your driving?
It's not going to change. I have to understand the probation a little bit more. I'm not sure if it's because of the actions off the track or because of the black flag. So, I've got to be more clear. Again, sometimes the communication doesn't come very clear to me, I guess. I'm going to drive the same way I was driving in Edmonton, to win. I'll do everything to make sure I can be fast, and the strategies to make passes and be competitive. I just hope that we have more common sense and consistent calls, to be honest. That's been the biggest challenge and frustration is the inconsistent calls, and the rules need to be clarified. Unfortunately, the rules aren't very clear, and it makes all the drives not know what's going to happen.