Helio Castroneves: “We knew we didn’t have the fastest car”

Helio Castroneves recovered from a disappointing practice and qualifying at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indy to secure a podium finish in second place on Saturday.

The Team Penske driver admitted he was lucky with the timing of a safety car intervention during the race, just after the Brazilian had pitted, to climb into contention, leading a handful of laps before dropping back first behind Dale Coyne Racing’s Conor Daly and then behind team-mate Simon Pagenaud, who went on to win the race.

Castroneves was able to get back ahead of Daly once the pit stops played out, and held off the challenge of Schmidt Peterson Motorsport’s James Hinchcliffe over the final laps to secure the runners-up spot on the road.

“Great teamwork. Never give up,” said Castroneves. “The hum Verizon boys – everybody was really in sync.

“We never gave up because we knew we had issues and knew we didn’t have the fastest car. But we had the heart, man. We had the passion. We put it out there and had a little bit of luck, obviously, but it all blends together. A great sauce.

“It turned out to be great momentum for the Indianapolis 500. I can’t thank the guys enough, but again – it was a total team effort.”