Helio Castroneves equalled his best finish of the season around the streets of Toronto on Sunday with second place, and the Team Penske driver was delighted after an early puncture had threatened to derail his afternoon.
Castroneves was running second behind then race leader Scott Dixon when he suffered a front left tyre failure, with his subsequent slow lap back to the pits apparently compromising his afternoon, but the Brazilian pitted the lap before the final caution period to gain a lot of the ground back, and although he was unable to challenge team-mate Will Power for the win, he was happy to be on the podium in Canada.
“I’m smiling because I know we didn’t win, but the Pennzoil Chevrolet car was really strong,” said Castroneves. “When we felt the car vibrating and I was just telling Roger [Penske], ‘Hey listen, it’s just vibration. But let’s not pit.’
“Then, all of a sudden I felt the car pulling and the tire just gave up. I’m not sure why. I noticed the curb in Turn 5, it could be. I don’t know.
“Finally, we got a little break on the yellow. It put us back in the position to fight. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to pass so I tried everything I could, and in the end I was like, ‘OK this is the chance,’ but Will had like six push to pass. I only had three.
“It was very difficult to get the tires going but Roger and the entire Pennzoil Chevrolet guys, man, I’m so proud to be part of this team. These guys are never giving up. Thanks everyone. Let’s keep going. Let’s move to the next one.”