Kanaan says KV, de Silvestro boosted by strong start to season

Tony Kanaan believes their strong start to the IndyCar season is just what he and team-mate Simona de Silvestro needed after a poor 2012 campaign

Kanaan says KV, de Silvestro boosted by strong start to season

KV endured a disappointing season in 2012, with Kanaan finishing as the team's highest-placed driver in ninth. Former team-mates Rubens Barrichello and EJ Viso ended up 12th and 20th respectively.

De Silvestro, meanwhile, was the only driver to use the vastly under-developed Lotus engine for the entire 2012 season and was left in 24th.

However, both started the new season strongly on Sunday at St Petersburg, with Kanaan finishing fourth and de Silvestro running third in the late stages before fading to sixth after using up her tyres.

According to Kanaan, the good start was exactly what the team, and de Silvestro, needed.

"For the team we had few struggles last year, so we had definitely all the eyes on us at this time," he said.

"I think Simona had a lot to prove because people were, 'we'll see, this and that'. Us, as well.

"I think as a team we did a great job. Still got to do better. We want to win races and finish with both cars on the podium. But it was a good weekend."

This season marks the first time that de Silvestro has worked with a team-mate, having spent her previous three years with the single-car HVM squad.

Kanaan, the 2004 series champion, believes that his experience coupled with de Silvestro's ambition made for a good combination, and one that can ultimately drive the team forward.

"Simona brought a lot of spark and light into the team.," he said. "I enjoy working with her. I have no problem teaching her whatever I can. But I like to see this young girl that wants to do well, because that's her opportunity.

"That obviously pushes me to my limit. I'm going to admit that she's extremely fast. I said that even before she was my team-mate, so I'm not trying to make any excuses.

"For me it's good. My entire career, I had hard team-mates. I had [Alex] Zanardi as a team-mate, Dario [Franchitti] as a team-mate, [Ryan] Hunter-Reay as a team-mate. Those are people that are extremely good. It's good to get beat sometimes. That's how we learn.

"I'm going to beat her sometimes, she's going to beat me sometimes. We're going to be cool. She's not going to like the days I finish ahead of her, and likewise.

"As long as we use that to our advantage, it's going to be awesome. The relationship between her and me right now, it reminds me of when me and Zanardi were team-mates back in the day."

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