Will Power Furious With IndyCar Officials after\u00a0’Working His Ass Off’ Only to Lose at Belle Isle06/12/2021
Team Penske’s Will Power was robbed by IndyCar on Belle Isle on Saturday.
Just ask Will Power.
“I’m mad. I’m mad at IndyCar,” Power said, minutes after he saw Marcus Ericsson win the first race of the weekend Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Presented by Lear doubleheader on Belle Isle in Detroit.
This one was Power’s to lose. He was leading the race with five laps to go when a Romain Grosjean crash brought out the second red flag of the race. During the red-flag period, IndyCar officials brought the cars onto pit lane while course workers cleaned up debris on the track.
Heartbreak for @12WillPower.
Hear from Power, who had an ECU failure from the lead with five laps to go when the race was stopped. #INDYCAR pic.twitter.com/gkk3Lt009r
When it came time to restart the cars, however, Power’s failed to fire. The car’s engine control unit had failed, and Power blamed it on the oppressive heat in the car. Drivers called for water and cool air to be pumped into their cockpits during the red-flag period. The cool air didn’t reach Power’s Chevrolet in time to save the ECU or his race.
Will Power’s car will not re-fire, and Marcus Ericsson assumes the race lead! TV: NBC #INDYCAR // #DetroitGP pic.twitter.com/Cxyhz1MtO3
Power didn’t think the red flag should have been called in the first place. Power was triggered even further as he saw other cars getting fans blowing cool air into their cockpits before Power—the first car into the pits as the race leader—got his.
“I was the first car in, and then (IndyCar officials) wait until the last car to come to get a fan on the car, and it burns the ECU,” Power told NBC Sports. “Just the red flag. The guys up there in race control never listen to any drivers. They never listen. They don’t care. We’ve given them so many good suggestions and they don’t care. I worked my ass off today to have this happen.
“I’m screaming, I need a fan! Get a fan!”
“The guys up there in race control never listen to any drivers. They never listen.”
Power knew his ECU was in trouble.
“The other cars have air coming into their car,” Power said. “You work your ass off in this sport. So much money goes into it, and then it’s dumb decisions like that. Some stupid idea like that—a red flag.”
Power never returned to the track after the 7-minute, 29-second red flag period and was scored in 20th place.
Ericsson, the seventh different winner in seven NTT IndyCar Series races this season, was followed across the line by Rinus VeeKay, pole sitter Pato O’Ward, Takuma Sato and Graham Rahal.
“I’m bummed for Will,” O’Ward said. “I feel for him. I think he would have walked away with (the win) if it didn’t go red.”
O’Ward got his fan in time during the red flag.
“Imagine a sauna of 125 degrees and nothing gets in the cockpit by sand and dust,” O’Ward said in describing the conditions inside the car.
The race featured two red flags. The first was brought out when Felix Rosenqvist went headlong into a tire barrier and into a cement barrier in Turn 6 of Lap 14 of the 70-lap race. The race was delayed 1 hour, 18 minutes to extricate Rosenqvist and fix the wall. Rosenqvist did not appear to be seriously injured, and was taken to a Detroit hospital for observation.
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