Alexander Rossi stood on a Verizon IndyCar Series podium for the first time outside of his 2016 Indianapolis 500 victory around the streets of Toronto on Sunday, and the American felt it was a long time coming and a monkey off his back.
The Andretti Herta Autosport driver was one of a handful of drivers to profit from Tony Kanaan hitting the tyre wall at turn one having already made his first pit stop, but the former Formula 1 driver showed good pace to keep the pressure on Josef Newgarden to finish second.
Rossi hopes to carry the momentum from Toronto forward to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in two weeks time, with the twenty-five-year-old likely to take extra confidence to the event thanks to the podium.
“This finish has been a long time coming,” admitted Rossi. “We had the Indy win, but I’ve been looking for that first podium and hopefully this will be a foundation to go and chase more wins.
“I’m relieved that we finally kind of got the monkey off our back. It was a huge turnaround overnight by Andretti Autosport to get the car where it needed to be for the race today. Qualifying was a huge effort for the whole team.
“I’m very proud of Honda for the effort they’ve made. As we’ve said, this year has been a huge turnaround. Big shout out to the Toronto fans for coming out to the race.
“It really is amazing coming here, and hopefully we can carry this momentum on to Mid-Ohio and get a win.”