IndyCar drivers divided over flurry of on-track incidents in Brazil

IndyCar drivers are divided over whether the flurry of on-track incidents during last weekend's Sao Paulo street race was the product of over-ambitions driving or the tricky circuit layout

IndyCar drivers divided over flurry of on-track incidents in Brazil

The series enjoyed a relatively incident-free start to the season, despite two of the first three races being on traditionally high-attrition street courses, but that changed in Brazil on Sunday when the race was interrupted by five caution periods, three of which came just after double-file restarts.

Andretti Autosport's James Hinchcliffe told AUTOSPORT that the Sao Paulo layout, with long straights leading to tight corners, encouraged drivers to take chances that they might think twice about elsewhere.

"This race has always been chaotic," he said. "It seems like such a dogfight every year. I'm sure part of it is just the tight first corner, the long straight into the hairpin ... there are definitely some appealing opportunities to try to make something happen.

"But at the end of the day, we're supposed to be professionals. The slick conditions at the beginning doesn't help, and cautions breed cautions. But this track does lend itself to chaotic racing."

Sam Schmidt Motorsport's Simon Pagenaud agreed that the layout made things difficult, but said that there would have been fewer problems if there was more room to avoid trouble at the first corner.

"There are two kerbs there that we can't run over, and they've put the tyres there so we can't go through the run-off," he said. "There are tyres inside the kerb at Turn 2, and we don't have space to go between the kerb and those tyres. So it really doesn't help us at all.

"Either you are a bit lucky because the crash is ahead of you and you have time to avoid it, or you are in the crash, or you go through the run-off like I did and you end up being at the back. It's just one of those races."

However, Andretti's Ryan Hunter-Reay, who finished second behind Will Power on Sunday, believes that the drivers needed to shoulder some of the responsibility, and also questions whether double-file restarts were inappropriate for some circuits.

"It is in the drivers' hands in some ways," he told AUTOSPORT. "At St Pete we thought it was going to be a yellow-fest, and it wasn't. The drivers need to behave the way they did in the beginning of the season, because today was a bit much.

"But this is a fifth-gear straight that goes down into a first-gear corner that's extremely tight, so the chances of something happening here are very high. I think the double-file restarts are good at some tracks, and very dangerous at others.

"I can tell you, every time I saw a yellow today I was not happy, because I knew that the chances of me being taken out of the race were very high."

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