Munoz: “We’re getting worse and worse”
Two-time Indy 500 runner-up Carlos Munoz brutally summed up another bad qualifying day for Andretti Autosport, as the team’s cars lined up in 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th for tomorrow’s race at Watkins Glen.
The Colombian, who qualified 16th, commented: “I feel like we’re getting worse and worse. We changed some stuff but we just didn’t get it right. The reds didn’t affect us, maybe for the lap time but it was really hard to go through the group.
"Tomorrow we have to be a little aggressive on the strategy and hope that it works,” added Munoz who sits eighth in the championship, highest-placed Andretti driver.
Marco Andretti, starting 18th, commented: “We didn’t get to really show what we had – even though I think wrung-out we’re not very good. I think honestly the only one I could have beaten was my teammate [Munoz]. I was on a lap to beat him but then it went yellow.
“So we could have been 16th instead of 18th – big deal.”
Alexander Rossi, who has been the quickest of the Andretti drivers this weekend, held onto that minimal accolade to take 15th, but failed to reach the stage where the Andretti team could discover what KV Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing did toward the end of Q2 – that the harder primary tires worked better with the Watkins Glen track today than the softer red-walled tires.
He stated: ““We made big improvements overnight and had a top five car this morning. The first run on blacks [primaries] felt about as I expected it, but on the reds we completely lost the balance. It’s very surprising, very disappointing and a huge mystery at the moment.”
Because of the vagaries of blending Groups 1 and 2 from Q1, 2012 IndyCar champion Hunter-Reay will start 19th, despite lapping Watkins Glen in a time that could have put him 15th.
He said: ““We just haven’t been able to find the grip; it’s been very inconsistent. You really have to lean on the car and it’s not really giving us what we want – none of cars have been very happy this weekend.
“I had high hopes coming in here,” he went on. “We had a pretty decent test and then we came off qualifying fourth at Mid-Ohio – top Honda. You’d think we’d come in here, another road course, and be able to transfer that.
“We’re going to make some big changes to it and we’ll see how it goes. It’s great to be here at Watkins Glen and seeing all fans turn out. This facility is amazing and this is my 200th start so we hope to have a good weekend.
“Hopefully we get this ship turned around and find that paddle.”
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Tire riddle continues at Watkins Glen