Ericsson blasts IndyCar for unsafe one-lap Indy 500 shootout

The Swede was beaten to the yard of bricks by Team Penske's Josef Newgarden

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The 2023 Indianapolis 500 runner-up Marcus Ericsson was left angry at IndyCar for allowing a restart with no warm-up lap at the end of the race.

Race officials decided to throw a third red flag after a crash coming to the green flag very late in the race, which left just one racing lap available. IndyCar decided to let them race for that one lap but without the necessary warm-up lap they had got on the two previous restarts.

Ericsson led onto the final lap but Josef Newgarden blasted past into Turn 3 to claim his first Indy 500 win and Team Penske’s 19th overall.

“I’m very happy with my performance, with our performance,” Ericsson told the media after the race. “I think we did an awesome race.

“I had a great car, great strategy and pitstops and I had a lot of fun out there. I think it was a tough way to end the race. I don’t really agree with how we did that.

“I don’t think that was a fair way to end the race but I’m proud of our effort.”

Red flag too late

Last year’s Indy 500, which Ericsson won, also saw a late red flag but there was an extra lap available which allowed IndyCar to reset the field without such controversy.

Ericsson was the beneficiary last year but feels this year’s drama was perhaps unsafe, even after seeing Kyle Kirkwood’s wheel fly over the catch fence just a few laps prior.

“I don’t think there was enough laps to do what we did,” Ericsson continued. “I don’t think it’s safe to go out of the pits on cold tyres straight into a restart when half of the field is still trying to get out onto the track when we went green.

“It is what it is so I guess I have to deal with it. I did everything I could, I did an awesome last restart and caught Josef by surprise but it wasn’t enough.”

Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis
Motorsport journalist, indyCar correspondent and F1 writer for Total-Motorsport.com
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