TThe Indianapolis 500 didn’t end well for either Graham Rahal or Sébastien Bourdais, but both are ready to move on to focus on the remaining two-thirds of the Indycar season.
Rahal discussed how his race ended in general terms, concluding,
“Everybody accepted what went wrong. Now we’re moving forward. Now we’re focused on Detroit and making the restof this year as best we can.
I think it’s great to turn the page now, move forward to a race that I’ve loved so much.”
Bourdais, like Rahal a two time winner at Detroit, is also eager to return to a place where he has had success.
“There was that dismal weekend at Texas. None of our fault, but that definitely set the tone a little bit for a bit of a moreconservative 500. When you’ve pretty much already wipedout your crash budget in a matter of 24 hours, I think we allfelt very conservative, maybe a little bit too conservative, in quallie trim and everything…just looking forward to the next ones, keep our a relatively new group kind of all working together
and trying to make the best of our situation in a very, very competitive field right now.”
Rahal and Bourdais expressed apprecifationor Roger Penske and his team for torture of the Detroit Grand Prix, one of the races that was canceled due to the pandemic in 2020.
Bourdais : “…we can thank, like Graham was saying, Roger and the entire team on the INDYCAR SERIES side, the Detroit side for putting all the hard work, letting us do ourthing, doing it all together.
on the weekend ahead.”
Rahal: “I want to say thanks to Roger and Bud and the group for keeping their heads down and making Detroit happen thisyear. I know for a while it was looking pretty limited fan-wise and everything else. We’re certainly excited to be back. It’s become a staple on the INDYCAR circuit. We’re excited to get a chance to turn the page from Indy, move on, hopefully have a great weekend.”
Both drivers expressed concern about the physical nature of the bumpy Belle Isle track and the heat that the aeroscreen will generate in the cockpit.
Bourdais talked about the aeroscreen,
“The aeroscreen safety-wise, particularly for the ovals and the superspeedways, just a single biggest investment forsure is concerned as far as safety is concerned. For me for sure on the street courses I sometimes wish the screenwasn’t there because I feel like it’s making things extremely difficult and uncomfortable in the car. I think it’s just onevery tough compromise, right? You just add that big safetypiece on an existing car that really wasn’t designed for anything like this, how you manage the airflow andeverything around.For sure when it gets hot and humid, particularly on streetcourses, the body temperature inside the 120 degree cockpit gets pretty critical. Yeah, it’s never really a fun last10, 15 laps of those races. Doing it twice in a weekend, I think that dehydration level is going to be tough. “
” I do think it’s going to be an exceptionally physical weekend. It looks hot, upper 80s and sunny. Detroit doesnot have any long straightaways really. I do think it’s goingto be a pretty physical weekend.Aside from everything else, everybody is pretty used to it now. We’re a year into this thing. The aeroscreen has been a great addition, a great addition to the sportsafety-wise. You look at the saves it’s already had in itstime. I think it’s been great.No, I think we’ll just go at it and try to make sure that youget rested up on Saturday night if you have a full day on Saturday because Sunday is going to be another bruiser.”