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James Hinchcliffe, Andretti Autosport - Q&A

James Hinchcliffe claimed his first win in the IZOD IndyCar Series on Sunday after holding Helio Castroneves off to the line in St Petersburg.
After taking victory in the first race of the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series, James Hinchcliffe talks about the St Petersburg race, finally making it to the winner's circle, and what it's been like following in the footsteps of Danica Patrick and Dan Wheldon in the sport.

Q:

We'll jump into it with James Hinchcliffe, Andretti Autosport. How does it feel to get your first win?

James Hinchcliffe:

It's awesome. There's been a lot of talk about it in the off-season, when that first one was going to come, what we had to do to get there. My answer was always the same. We had to minimize the mistakes. The team is good, the car is good, the engineers are good. We proved last year the team is capable of winning. It's down to me on any given Sunday to minimize mistakes.

We capitalized on restarts. The last restart was on blacks, everyone around us was on reds. Helio made a mistake. I thought I would lead for a couple laps, but he would catch up. For that many laps on technically the slower tires took everything out of me.

I was so happy to get it done and get Go Daddy its first win in IndyCar, Chevrolet back in Victory Circle, one, two, three on the podium, podium sweep. My teammate on the podium. It's just a helluva day.

Q:

Michael was in here a little while ago and he said he knew with 10 laps left he wasn't worried. In those 10 laps, did you think you had it won?

James Hinchcliffe:

I'm glad he was calm about it (laughter).

It wasn't till about four to go, I opened up a little bit of a gap. All weekend we really struggled out of the last corner. Obviously that leads onto the longest straightaway and best passing opportunity. Those black and white cars were really quick in that part of the track.

For me the focus was getting out of turn 10. I knew no matter what I did I was going to be slow compared to him out of the last corner. It was just being absolutely picture perfect lap after lap. I had a couple more overtakes than he did. With four to go I opened up enough of a gap that I could save the fuel I need to save and not make any mistakes.

Man, it's the realization of a dream, being a winner in IndyCar. Especially for Canada it's really cool.

Q:

There's been a lot of discussion after this win about personality, for obvious reasons. Michael Andretti said you're one of the great ones. Where do you see your personality fitting into IndyCar and does this first victory give you a chance to amplify that to the fan base?

James Hinchcliffe:

We'll see. I think that fans certainly like a winner. Now we can call ourselves that. Hopefully it's not the last one.

But I've always tried to be myself at the racetrack. I think some people at some points in my career thought that maybe I wasn't taking my job seriously enough or something like that.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
James Hinchcliffe during the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg - Sunday, March 24 2013. (Photo Credit: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The finish of the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg - Sunday, March 24 2013. (Photo Copyright: LAT Photo USA for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay in victory circle following the Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg - Sunday, March 24 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates winning the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg with third-place finisher Tony Kanaan (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates winning the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Start of the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power (left), driver of the #1 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6; and Tony Kanaan (right), driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6; celebrate with Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, who raced to victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Power finished second. Kanaan finished third. Chevrolet took the top six places in the first race of the season. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #2 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 29, 2015 winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya wins the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher)
Juan Pablo Montoya enters Turn 3 during the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power clash in the closing laps of the 2015 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal waits on pit lane prior to practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Graham Rahal apexes Turn 1 during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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SP3 - Unregistered

March 25, 2013 3:29 PM

"James Hinchcliffe: Certainly following Danica was a big task." I loathe this PC garbage. It wasn't a 'big task' at all and everyone knows it. She had top line equipment her whole time and did nothing with it when you get right down to it.



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