Team Penske's Helio Castroneves made his first public comments in response to Dario Franchitti's harsh comments about his driving following last weekend's IZOD IndyCar Series race at Milwaukee.
Franchitti, who won the race, criticized Castroneves for blocking in broadcast interviews in Victory Lane, and expanded on the theme in the post-race press briefing.
"We had that one restart where Helio blocked the inside and then blocked the outside," Franchitti declared, suggesting that the deflating tire that cost Castroneves an extra pit stop was a direct consequence. "No wonder he got a flat tire – some of the parts of the track he was using," said the Scot.
“I'm very sorry he feels that way,” Castroneves told SlamSports.ca, adding that the deflating tire was the reason, not the cause, for his driving style as he was trying to avoid a stop by nursing the tire.
“I definitely want to talk to him. I want to find out what happened; why he would have such a harsh comment about me," the Brazilian added. "He's our champion; he should be just enjoying his victory and act like a champion.
“He won the race; there were other cars between me and him.”
The Castroneves incident was one of two incidents in the Milwaukee race involving Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Franchitti and arch-rivals Penske, as Franchitti narrowly avoided a penalty when he he clipped the tire – and tire man – of Castroneves' teammate Will Power during a yellow-flag pit stop.