Wickens: Backmarker, blue-flag situation was “comical”

Robert Wickens said he was frustrated by the “comical” situation he found in the final stint at Mid-Ohio when he got caught behind lapped cars as he tried to chase down leader Alexander Rossi.

Wickens: Backmarker, blue-flag situation was “comical”
Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda

Wickens finished runner-up, highest of the cars that committed to a three-stop pit strategy, but finished 12 seconds adrift of Rossi at the checkered flag.

But the Canadian rookie said he felt that he would have been able to catch his frequent nemesis this year had he not gotten held up for so long behind backmarkers, and that the pressure he applied would have forced Rossi to use too much fuel to make it to the end on two stops.

“I think I would have been able to challenge him if I had a clear third stint,” he said. “I think we lost a good 10 or so seconds. As a driver, when you have 20 odd seconds at hand, it's probably easy to hit a fuel number. I think [if I’d been] closing in, he would not have made it, right?

“We knew going in the three stops, two stops was basically the same, but the risk was higher with three stops. I got stuck behind [Takuma] Sato on new reds [alternate-compound tires]. He was quick enough I couldn't do anything. I had to wait for him to get a bit of deg.”

Asked if he felt Race Control needs to be more vigilant about getting drivers to observe blue flags when they’re being lapped, Wickens replied, “Yes [but] the rules are the rules. They're not going to change this season, right? What they have is what we have to deal with throughout the whole year.

“I just thought it was comical for my entire third stint, marshals were waving blue flags every lap I went through. I felt bad for the marshals, waving flags for no reason. Just don't do it. It's weird…

"There were blue flags every time for T.K. [Tony Kanaan] and Sato. They were fighting for position. It’s just how the flag rules are here in IndyCar. It ruined my race…

"I mean, it was just frustrating. The track is pretty hard to overtake on. I would have had to blow 100 seconds of overtake [push-to-pass boost] to try to pull off a move, and I wasn't ready to do that.

“I think T.K. put Sato in the grass in Turn 3 once. I was waiting in a podium spot to see what they were going to do. Obviously I wasn't interested in going three-wide with them when they're pushing each other in the grass and stuff!

"I saw a win slipping away, but... It was risk-versus-reward. I waited for a mistake from Sato, capitalized on that, was able to get by T.K. in one lap.”

shares
comments
Rossi: Winning strategy was decided during the race

Previous article

Rossi: Winning strategy was decided during the race

Next article

IndyCar to adopt F1-style driver eligibility guidelines

IndyCar to adopt F1-style driver eligibility guidelines
Load comments
Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call Prime

Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call

The fight for supremacy in the NTT IndyCar Series will be as intense as ever. David Malsher-Lopez is your guide to the main contenders and six intriguing sub-plots.

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car? Prime

Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car?

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indy car game-changer that won three Indy 500s in six years.

IndyCar
Dec 23, 2020
How Newgarden delivered his best season, yet still lost Prime

How Newgarden delivered his best season, yet still lost

Josef Newgarden was our pick as top IndyCar driver of 2020 but his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield the championship. David Malsher-Lopez explains why.

IndyCar
Dec 18, 2020
2020 IndyCar Review and Top 10 drivers of the year Prime

2020 IndyCar Review and Top 10 drivers of the year

David Malsher-Lopez explains how the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series was unlike any other, and why it featured familiar and unfamiliar faces competing for glory.

IndyCar
Nov 27, 2020