Juncos Hollinger Racing’s newly appointed Team Principal, David O’Neil, says the team has the people and the equipment but needs to bring more detail to the business side of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES team. Speaking to Paddock Eye on Fast Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, O’Neil said that greater detail goes for everything, from accounting to the cars.

Speaking specifically about the Indianapolis 500, David said he has been sitting on the couch since he was 14 watching the race. It is not until you are here that you realize the attention to detail that goes into the event. It has such a dynamic side to it that you have to change and adapt to, he says, and he is still learning that part of the job.

O’Neil says that he knows the format of the race weekend inside out but that it changes slightly. The greatest race, certainly here in the States and in the world, is here this weekend as the NTT INDYCAR SERIES prepares for qualifying for the 108th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, which takes place a week on Sunday.

David confirmed that it is a big learning curve for him. He believes that if Juncos Hollinger Racing pays a bit more attention to detail by this time next year, the team will be in a better place, but he says that you can’t take anything for granted.

O’Neil says that you don’t have to work harder; you have to work smarter, and he wants to bring that philosophy to Juncos Hollinger Racing. When asked about the comparison of working for a small Formula One Team like Haas to a smaller INDYCAR team such as Juncos Hollinger Racing, he says that he worked for the Jordan Formula One Team for ten years, but the same philosophy applies, which is the detail but mainly the communication.

All of the different departments have to communicate with each other to achieve the best results. O’Neill says that with INDYCAR, there are fewer names to learn. Overall, he has a pretty good idea about how he wants to steer the team.

O’Neill said that they might have to add some more people to the team as there are a few weak areas. Of course, this is a very new team still in its infancy, but like you say, they are punching above their weight.

‘We need to stop the first race drama of gearbox issues; we should have finished sixth there with Romain.’ The championship would have looked slightly different. You can always unearth what you should have done at the end of the race but is having the proper plan at the start of the race and the start of the weekend but you are only best prepared when you leave the race shop but when you get to the track it is kind of downhill from there if you don’t do the running that you planned to do which gives you the data you need to make decisions. 

According to O’Neill, Romain Grosjean and Agustin Canapino are both good drivers who work really well together. Grosjean needs the car to be right before he pushes, and when it’s right, he is as good as anyone on his day.


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