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IndyCar stars call for rule changes after Pedersen anger

Leading IndyCar racers have called for rule changes regarded blue flags after backmarker Benjamin Pedersen caused consternation at Mid-Ohio.

Benjamin Pedersen, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet

Photo by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

The AJ Foyt driver cost race winner Alex Palou a 5s chunk of the lead that he’d built up, and while it didn’t impact the outcome of the result, it left Palou frustrated.

Drivers aren’t obliged to give up their position, especially when it comes to going a lap down in case a full-course yellow comes out, which would allow them to cycle to the back of the pack for the restart.

“I know the rules,” said Palou. “But at the same time it's very frustrating when you are leading and you try to open the gap, and they don't let you pass, but they are using the overtake, for like 20, 30 seconds a lap, to try to stay up front.

“On top of that once you are side-by-side that they are so aggressive defending. Obviously it's really frustrating when you are leading.

“I know it's the rules. I would like it to change… It's not going to change.”

But it wasn’t only Palou that Pedersen held up, who went on to annoy most of the top six finishers by not moving aside to let them through.

Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin went to remonstrate with him after the race, after losing “three or four seconds” getting past him.

“I just said that he’s not going to make any friends if he holds people up," McLaughlin said. "He’s not in our race, I get he’s in a race of his own. It’s give or take in this series, if I’m a lap down and [he] is behind me, who knows what I’m going to do.”

Sixth placed David Malukas added: “He was just blocking, but all you’re doing is making enemies and he’s certainly made one of me. He was just trying to ruin everyone’s races for no reason, I just don’t think that’s how you should drive.”

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

Blue flag or overtake limit solution suggested

Podium finishers Scott Dixon and Will Power were also angry with the situation, and suggested solutions to the issue after the race.

“I think that the blue flag rule, it's crazy,” said Power. “You use push-to-pass up and have to race somebody that's going to be a lap down like you're racing for position.

“The series is so tight and competitive, and everyone is so good now that I think we could have a blue flag rule. It's not like we have yellows constantly, and you're going to get your lap back.

“Maybe they do it in the second half of the race, but it's ridiculous when a leader gives up 10 seconds.”

Dixon suggested disabling the overtake button for any lapped car, to which Power added: “The disabling of the OT, that was the one they say, well, how do we police it?

“Do we disable it for everyone after that? It sounded like that was a big problem, but not like a ton of people go a lap down anymore anyway.

“Yeah, disabling the push-to-pass would be a big step if you are going to be a lap down.”

But the series veterans were in agreement that such suggestions have been made before, with Power concluding: “We tell them every year. They're, like, ‘yeah, yeah, no, we hear you’. Crickets.”

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