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Fuming Herta says team-mate Ericsson raced him “like an ass”

Andretti Global’s erstwhile IndyCar points leader Colton Herta accused his team-mate Marcus Ericsson of racing him “like an ass” at Indianapolis on Saturday.

Colton Herta, Andretti Global w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Photo by: Josh Tons / Motorsport Images

After Ericsson and Herta qualified down in 21st and 24th respectively, the pair collided on the second lap of the Indy GP in a frantic opening to the fourth round of the IndyCar Series on Indianapolis’s 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course.

It caused Herta – whose qualifying was ruined when his team ran him out of fuel – to tumble to the back of the field after being forced off the track and through the gravel trap.

He immediately got on the radio for a curse-laden rant about his team-mate.

“Your team-mate’s leading the championship and you race him like an ass,” Herta told NBC after the race. “I don’t know what you’re thinking.

“[Being shown a replay of their clash] He probably braked deeper than he did in qualifying right there, and he runs me clean off the track.

“You’ve got to be smarter than that, man. So, so dumb.”

Marcus Ericsson, Andretti Global Honda

Marcus Ericsson, Andretti Global Honda

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

The delay switched him into an aggressive early-stopping strategy to make up time, using the undercut throughout the three-stop schedule to jump ahead of those in front.

“There’s definitely room for improvement,” Herta said of his day. “Really, really solid pitstops and solid strategy.

“The team definitely made my job a lot easier today. Picking up positions, a lot of it was through the fuel cycles, good pitstops and undercutting a lot of the guys and that’s how we made the majority of our positions up.

“But I think there was a scenario there where we get a podium.”

Following a yellow flag during his final stint, Herta recovered to finish seventh, just 4.5s behind winner and new points leader Alex Palou of Chip Ganassi Racing.

Herta now drops to fourth in the championship, behind runner-up Will Power of Team Penske and CGR’s Scott Dixon.

When asked if he would speak to Ericsson about the clash, Herta replied: “I’ll probably let him know what I feel, yeah.”

Ericsson was given an in-race five-place penalty by Race Control over the incident, which ensured he dropped back behind Herta.

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