Detroit race one winner Graham Rahal from Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and third place driver James Hinchcliffe from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports are the latest Verizon IndyCar Series drivers to criticize triple Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton’s recent dismissive comments about the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indy 500.
Speaking following race one in Detroit, Rahal said:
When I saw Lewis Hamilton’s comment…it took me everything I have in my body not to say something. Legitimately, in Formula One over his entire career, it’s been a two car race, four max.
Rahal pointed to the fact that James Hinchcliffe had made his way through the field from 22nd place following his spin on the opening lap to finish on the podium in third place in Detroit as a result of some great overtakes on track and a fantastic strategy by Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
In the first seven events of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season there have been seven different winners and Rahal says that this just shows how competitive the Verizon IndyCar Series is.
Rahal also said that he had spoken to former Formula One driver Esteban Gutierrez who made his Verizon IndyCar Series debut on Saturday, who told Rahal that the car was the best thing he has ever driven which is a great endorsement for the Verizon IndyCar Series.
Hinchcliffe echoed Rahal’s criticism of Hamilton by saying that in IndyCar the depth of competition is fantastic as it is difficult for drivers to win races despite the parity among the teams in relation to engines and the chassis and yet there have been seven different winners in the opening seven races of the season.
Hinchcliffe said with Hamilton, week in week out he is racing three or four cars make for the win.
Rahal also believes that if you were to partner current Verizon IndyCar Series points leader Scott Dixon in the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 car alongside Hamilton that the three time world champion would have more than he would handle alongside Dixon.