In the NTT IndyCar Series, teams are a true collective group where everyone shares information and the good of the team comes first.
It’s also understood that once it’s time to go racing, there are no team orders and everyone races as hard as they can.
It usually works — until two teammates get together on track. Then there can be some hard feelings.
That’s what happened in the Detroit Sunday, as Rosenqvist and Rossi did some bumping and banging late in the race. In the end, it was Rosenqvist who benefitted. He used some late action to move into third in the final stages to nab his first podium of the season.
With two laps to go in the 100-lap race, Rosenqvist went hard into the turn 3 hairpin, which had seen a lot of passing, contact and action all day long. The 31-year-old Swede got inside of Rossi under braking, and the two made contact.
Rosenqvist took over the position, and Rossi was sent into the marbles and passed by Scott Dixon for fourth. Rossi, who had run as high as second on Lap 91, had to settle for a fifth-place finish.
The end result was definitely a he-said, he-said situation. An agitated Rossi told NBC Sports that the matter would be “discussed internally.”
This incident occurred at a time when Rosenqvist is fighting for a job next year and needed a podium result badly. Though he has been quick all year, winning the pole at Texas Motor Speedway and starting on the front row for both races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he was also involved in incidents at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Texas and the last week’s Indy 500.
Sunday’s podium moved Rosenqvist up three spots in the season standings to 10th.
Rosenqvist said he didn’t have his status on his mind when he made his move and just called it “IndyCar racing.”
Following the teammate run-in, it should be an interesting team debrief this week.
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