Helio Castroneves missed out on the Verizon IndyCar Series title by forty-four points after finishing the season finale at Sonoma Raceway in fifth position, with the Team Penske driver looking to take the positives out of the year rather than the negatives.
The Brazilian’s future in IndyCar has been under scrutiny in recent months, with a move to Penske’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship team being rumoured for 2018, but despite his ninth top-five finish of 2017, which included a win at Iowa Speedway, he could not take his first championship triumph.
“I’m always going to focus on the positive thing,” said Castroneves. “I’m not going to focus on Texas when we had a problem, or other races that I missed strategy or made mistakes.
“You’ve got to think about, again, it was another season that we pushed as hard as we could and another top four. And again, sometimes it’s funny because you see the statistics, finished second – I finished second four times. But it was more times – the P4 is not what it represents because we were in a battle a lot more years than that.
“And that’s what I look at. I look because each year that’s what kept me motivated to come back and push hard, and that for me was hard. Sometimes it’s – well, I try, but to get one – it’s easy to follow from that position, but to keep up like I’ve been doing all these years, I think it’s the hardest thing to do.”
Castroneves thanked his team for giving him a strong car all season long, with the results keep him motivated right to the very end, even if it resulted in him falling short once more.
“But it doesn’t just happen. It comes with a great team,” said Castroneves. “It comes with great dedication from your guys, great trust, and obviously, myself to keep motivated, finding ways to keep pushing and having team-mates like I have today, no question, helped me to become a better driver.
“The Hitachi Chevrolet team was great all season and I can’t thank them enough for their hard work dedication.”