Ganassi frustrated with Honda's IndyCar performance
Before qualifying for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Saturday, team owner Chip Ganassi questioned Honda's commitment to being victorious in the Izod IndyCar Series.
"I don't know if they want to win bad enough," Ganassi said. "They talk about everything at Honda but winning."
Ganassi's drivers qualified 10th and 20th, not some he is accustomed to.
"I think Honda has some work to do, but I think they know that," Ganassi told USA Today, who also was critical of his engine supplier toward the end of last season. "They were mission accomplished last year, at the right time, when it counted most. To have to rely on that again is a tall order. They need to understand the task at hand a little more."
"They said for years and years and years they want competition," Ganassi said. "Now they've got competition, and they are not talking about winning. I feel like they want to sit around and hold hands and sing Kumbaya. I want to win."
"Honda shares Chip's commitment to winning, as is evidenced by our 196 IndyCar victories, many of which were achieved in partnership with Chip and his team," Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development, said in a statement. "We are pleased with Takuma Sato's front-row start and a strong qualifying performance by rookie Tristan Vautier in his inaugural race. But Honda is always looking to improve, and it continues to work tirelessly to give all of our IndyCar Series teams the opportunity to win."
"I don't think we have an issue," said Takuma Sato who qualified 2nd. "Honda is trying as much as they could. I'm very satisfied with Honda's performance, and certainly compared to the last year, it's tons better. Hopefully we'll have a good car to win the race or to challenge, at least.
"I don't think there is any big difference between Chevy and Honda."