POST-SONOMA INTERVIEW WITH FRANCHITTI
Post-Race Interview With Dario Franchitti, Finishes Third at Sonoma
Aug 27, 2012
Q. Dario has finished in the top four in his last six starts here at Sonoma. Walk us through today’s race.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: It was kind of a race of two parts really. There was that first however many laps: Is it going to go green the whole way again? I was pretty cautious at the stop because I had Scott with me there, at least until Helio took him out that first lap.
Then, you know, the pace of the car was quite good on blacks actually compared to the guys I was running with. Then I put the reds on, I kind of got stuck a little bit behind Sebastien. He was on blacks at that point. Then we lost a spot in the pits to Ryan Hunter-Reay. I was definitely quicker, but I couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t get past him. That was a little frustrating.
I mean, it looked to me like the 67 took Sebastien out. I don’t know if that’s correct. You guys will know more than me. Or did something break on his car? There was a lot of dirt and stuff, bits flying.
Then on the restart after that, Tagliani, I braked really late into seven, and he still hadn’t braked when he passed me. I just turned left. Ryan Hunter-Reay was just an innocent bystander in that one.
I was third behind the Penskes on that last restart. We’ve definitely been giving something up to them all weekend. I was not only able to hang with them, twice Will pressed the pit lane limiter instead of the overtake, which you’ll find more about later, I was able to get behind them quickly. I was surprised by that.
We definitely have some work to do, the Target team and Honda, to close the gap. It was good to follow those guys so closely, because I think I have a good idea of where that advantage is.
Q. Could you talk about how the ‘push to pass’ worked here with the three-and-a-half second delay?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: The delay needs to go. We expressed that to Beaux (Barfield) in the drivers meeting. I haven’t seen Will (Phillips) all weekend. But all the drivers expressed that to Beaux. It wasn’t something they could do in time for the race, but I believe it will be done in time for Baltimore. It’s not working.
Q. What happened to your teammate, one bad incident breeds another bad incident?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: Right there, lap one, those are championship-deciding incidents, what happened to Scott. So I can understand Scott being really pissed off after that. He was trying to come back through. He was right in front of me when he locked up and damaged the wing in 11.
But, yeah, he got taken out. Hunter-Reay, they were both innocent parties in that, both of them, but especially (Scott Dixon) Dixie. Guy gets no luck at all.
Q. How did the changes work? There was a little more passing, but not much up in seven. Looked like you were going to make a move on Will Power in the closing laps.
DARIO FRANCHITTI: I was trying. He was pretty good on the brakes today. I was definitely trying out of seven. Sometimes I would think I had the overtake pressed and it didn’t work. So, anyway…
Those guys were quick, the two guys ahead of me were really quick, so it was difficult to make enough of an advantage. But it’s an improvement. Absolutely you have to take your hat off to the IndyCar Series, especially the people at Sonoma, here at the track. They sat down, listened to the drivers, to the series, and made some changes.
I think in a lot of ways we’re a victim of our own success. The performance through the field is so close, it’s difficult to find an advantage to actually pass someone. I suppose that’s good and bad, isn’t it?
Q. Dario, are there more changes you think that can be made here or are we at a point where we need to make changes to the car for passing more?
DARIO FRANCHITTI: We’ve talked to the track about making other changes, more substantial changes. That’s something that’s up to them to let you guys know what they’re thinking.
Again, Firestone, you have to take your hat off to them. They make such a consistent tire. They’re a victim of their own success. You would love them to have a tire that degrades. But Firestone don’t really want to do that too much, and I understand why.
But look at Barber this year, with the tires, the way they were. That really helped.
Yeah, I’m sure there are a couple things we could do with the track here. The good news is the people at the track are really keen to work with us to improve things, as long as we don’t change the character of this place. The good thing about the changes this year, they didn’t change that character. If you start messing around with two, three A, all that stuff, it wouldn’t be good. Turn six, there’s a part of the character that makes it what it is.
If they do something, I hope they don’t screw with those corners.