IndyCar championship leader Josef Newgarden has warned rookie Santino Ferrucci’s driving risks causing “a very serious wreck” following an incident between the pair at the end of yesterday’s race at Gateway.
Speaking after the race Newgarden said: “It’s important to know that he’s a rookie, just what he did was in my opinion dangerous.
“He came over to talk to me, said he was loose, that’s why he was down there. I’ve been in the exact same position tonight, I know what it’s like to get in the marbles, he got there a couple of times.
“He came directly back down to the racing line to try to block me which was no reason to. I gave him the position twice because I was suffering with vibrations all night and my car was getting quite difficult to drive at the end of that stint. So I let him go two times during the night.
“But he’s got to learn that this is big-time auto racing. If you do a move like that on an oval, particularly a high-speed oval, you will cause a very serious wreck. You’ve just got to know that.
“I’ve really drilled it to him that you cannot come directly to the racing line. That was his instinct, to come right back to the racing line. He’s a racer, you’re going to have instincts like that, but you cannot do that in oval racing. It’s absolutely not OK. It’s a lesson, I hope he learns that and I hope he gets that in his head.”
Ferrucci, who took the lead of the rookie points standings with his fourth-place finish yesterday, admitted he could have left more room for the Penske driver.
“I was trying to get TK,” said Ferrucci, “I lost the car, I didn’t want to get onto the marbles. I did close the line on him a little bit too much.
“Obviously we’re fighting for two different championships. At the end of the day I did what I had to do to save the car. Unfortunately he got the worst of it but he did finish the race and he still picked up some good championship points.
“Overall I’d definitely say I probably could have given him a little bit more room but I really wanted that hardware.”
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