Castroneves admits luck played a part after tyre struggles in Alabama


Helio Castroneves felt he was fortunate to finish fourth at Barber - Credit: Joe Skibinski / IndyCar

Helio Castroneves admitted he was lucky to finish as high as he did during Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Barber Motorsports Park, with the Team Penske driver finding himself fourth at the chequered flag.

The Brazilian had started on the front row of the grid alongside team-mate Will Power, but found himself shuffled down to sixth around mid-distance, but with Power pitting with a deflating tyre and James Hinchcliffe running off track, he was able to move back up to fourth.

Castroneves was unable to match the pace of his team-mates for much of the afternoon, and ultimately this cost him the change of a first podium of the season.

“With a little bit of luck with the yellow, Will (Power) cutting the tyre and (James) Hinchcliffe going off, we were able to get back into the top four,” said Castroneves.

“The AAA Chevy was really good, actually. It was just unfortunate with the black tyres, which actually had good balance, but were a little bit slow. When you had the Firestone reds, it was fast but it was too loose to control. Saving fuel toward the end was a little bit hard.

“Congrats to Josef (Newgarden) on his first win (with Team Penske). He’s not the rookie anymore. That’s why Roger (Penske) keeps hiring young talent and we keep pushing.”