Drivers react to the ongoing battle between Chevrolet and Honda and how they stacked up in the Indy 500.
The 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 was another chapter in the battle for supremacy between Chevrolet and Honda in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
The race ended with a Chevrolet 1-2-3-4 with Juan Pablo Montoya winning over Will Power, Charlie Kimball and Scott Dixon. The top Honda was in fifth-place Graham Rahal.
In the whole race, they (Chevrolets) overtook me like I was in Indy Lights
Nine of the top eleven cars were Chevrolet-powered. All positions from 12th to 22nd (with the exception of Townsend Bell in 14th) were Hondas. 23rd on back were those who failed to finish the race (Six Chevrolets, five Hondas). Honda driver Conor Daly out of the race before the green flag even waved. "We had a fuel leak that caused a fire in the back of the car and burned some key items, so sadly, that was our end of the race before it even started," he explained.
Carlos Munoz was rather downtrodden after his 20th place finish, and for good reason, since he was one of the fastest Honda drivers most of the day, but was forced to pit late.
“We didn’t have the speed at all compared to the Chevy,” Munoz said.
“In the whole race, they overtook me like I was in Indy Lights,” he added.
"Everybody knows that Chevy has a bit of an advantage so we really have to put it together from a Honda point of view," said James Jakes, who finished 18th.
“I think we were definitely a little bit under-powered, under-paced compared to the other guys," said rookie Gabby Chaves. "We were really good in traffic. I think we were one of the top Hondas out there today.
Sebastien Bourdais, a Chevrolet pilot, said of the difference, “The Chevy cars obviously dominated at the front and the Hondas looked pretty good in traffic. They looked a bit draggy, they put quite a bit of downforce on the car. They couldn’t lead but they were pretty good in traffic. Better than us today, for sure.
The top Honda
As for Rahal, the top Honda driver, he was upbeat about the technical challenge that was provided by the aero kits.
“I really do have the absolute most confidence in Honda and HPD. Obviously we’ve got to find some horsepower. On the road courses and street courses, we’ve got to find a little drivability.
But at the end of the day, everybody's working as hard as they can. Obviously this is a testament to how smart the folks at Pratt & Miller and Ilmor are. There's a lot of work to be done. We're just going to continue to battle hard. I don't think anybody felt this would be an easy task."