Fittipaldi apologises for triggering six-car pile-up before start · RaceFans

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Pietro Fittipaldi apologised after triggering a crash which involved six cars as today’s IndyCar race began at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Coyne/Rick Ware racer, who is driving Romain Grosjean’s car at the series’ oval rounds, ran into the back of Sebastien Bourdais as the field came around to start the race.

Alexander Rossi’s car was struck and Conor Daly was launched into a roll as the crash unfolded, eventually coming to a stop the right way up. Ed Jones and Dalton Kellet were also involved. All those involved emerged with no more than minor injuries.

Fittipaldi, who was making his second start in the championship this year, said he was taken by surprise when the field slowed ahead of him and “had nowhere to go”.

“The guys ahead of us left a gap so everyone [was] kind of closing up,” he explained. “Then we got pretty steady. I got a run and I was right behind Seb, within a couple of feet, and then they slowed down. I had nowhere to go.”

“I hit Seb, turned him around and there was a huge accident,” he added. “I don’t know if the leaders and the middle of the pack they backed up. I got on the brakes, but no time to be able to go anywhere, especially on the outside. I tried but there was nowhere to go really.

“So it was unfortunate what happened, we had a good car yesterday and wanted to run the whole race here.”

It is the second time in as many days that Bourdais had been hit from behind and taken out of a race.

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“Obviously I didn’t see anything but Pietro apologised for running into the back of us so I’m guessing he just drilled us,” said Bourdais. “There you have it, that’s what set the whole thing in motion.

Start crash, Texas Motor Speedway, IndyCar, 2021
Six cars were involved in the crash

“Clearly it was checking up at the front which at this stage, where we are, we shouldn’t be doing. So I don’t know what was going on at the front.

“But it’s still not an excuse, same thing as yesterday, when it checks up in front of you, you should be in control of your car and slowing down. It’s a real shame that two days in a row we get drilled and taken out of a race but nothing we can do about it and unfortunately it’s a very expensive couple of days.”

Bourdais team had worked late to complete repairs to his car after he was hit by Josef Newgarden in the first of two races in Texas yesterday.

“There’s nothing to take away from that couple of days. It’s always a shame when you get wrecked, even more of a shame when it’s that way and it seems like you actually have something to fight with.

“The guys worked until midnight to fix the car from last night after Josef took us out and then we can’t even take the green flag. So not quite sure what to say but not very impressed right now.”

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