NASHVILLE – Bitter feelings were aplenty after Q1 for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville.
The 10-minute session kicked off at 5:00pm local time after a 90-minute rain delay. The action was quickly halted when Devlin DeFrancesco stopped on course in Turn 4 – causing a three-minute red flag.
The session resumed there minutes later only to end five minutes later as fellow Andretti Autosport driver Colton Herta wrecked in Turn 4. The wreck occurred just as several drivers were in flying laps – including Alexander Rossi and Simon Pagenaud.
“That was just a little too ambitious for what the conditions were,” said Herta. “After the rain a lot of that grip fell away, just trying to find the right braking point I overdid it.
“It’s hard when you put on these reds and they are one-lap tires you really have to get after it.
“I apologize to my team, especially to Andretti because I probably screwed over Rossi and a few other guys.”
IndyCar rules do not mandate a minimum green flag time, although they’ve pivoted on some occasions to allow one green flag lap for all drivers.
The lack of green time angered 2016 NTT IndyCar Series champion Simon Pagenaud. The Frenchman expressed his frustrations with NBC Sport’s Dillon Welch.
“Man I’m so frustrated, that is not the sport,” the Meyer Shank Driver grumbled.
“We can wait all day for the storm to pass and they don’t give us enough time to put our lap down. I did one lap on reds… I’m speechless because you don’t get to perform at your level. We are gonna start where we don’t belong and a lot of guys don’t belong up there.
“It’s just frustrating to see these rules not changed. After all these years of telling them they should.”
Pagenaud wasn’t the lone ranger upset with the call as Rossi stormed back to his transporter and Callum Illott voiced his displeasure on Twitter: