IndyCar Series title contender Graham Rahal vented his fury at Sebastien Bourdais in the pitlane following the Sonoma finale, after the Frenchman punted him into a spin in the closing stages.
Rahal’s spin dropped him out of the top six to 18th by the finish line, which meant he slipped from third to fourth in the championship.
Rahal admitted his Rahal Letterman Racing car wasn’t good enough to contend for the title at Sonoma, but refused to accept Bourdais’s apology in the pitlane after the race and cursed in his direction instead.
"I don't know what kind of excuse he could possibly come up with, with hitting me in the rear, but I hit the brakes at the 200 mark," said Rahal. "It was going to be impossible for him to stop had he gone inside of me, and even if he had gone outside, he wasn't going anywhere, yet he clearly just wasn't even looking.
"He was obviously just focused right on my gearbox and not where we were on the circuit, and he just drilled me, and around I went. He comes up to me and said he doesn't mean to, but unfortunately that cost us third in the championship. What do you say? Again, what do you say? I don't know, man. It's frustrating.
"Actually Bourdais has done that in recent times for some reason, but he's a champion. He was a tremendous driver then. He's a tremendous driver now. He was a hell of a driver, and I respect him tremendously for who he is and what he's accomplished.
"But on a day like today, he's a guy you should have high expectations for, and when you see stuff like that, it's pretty disappointing."
Rahal finished as top Honda runner in the points, but lost a place in the drivers' championship to Will Power.
“Unfortunately our car was pretty terrible from the start today,” said Rahal. “The guys did a great job in the pits to keep us in it frankly. We didn’t really deserve to be in the position we were running.
“[Scott] Dixon was pretty much dominant, we didn’t have anything for him, and other guys had issues. Obviously the Bourdais thing hurt us from third to fourth in the championship, but what can you say, we’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. We’ve got a lot to be proud of, but we wanted to go out better than this.
“All weekend, the car has been an animal. I wasn’t so worried about the championship from the start, I wanted to maintain third, and it was looking good until Bourdais punted us – obviously frustrated with that.
"We're just going to have to improve – unfortunately today was a bad day to have our worst day."