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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.


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Related Pictures

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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)
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads James Hinchcliffe during the early stages of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchliffe (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe in the hairpin during practice at Long Beach -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
Chevrolet engine cowling showing the logo of the Verizon IndyCar Series. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Banner showing the logo of the Verizon IndyCar Series. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power and Helio astroneves celebrate on the podium. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Will Power and Helio astroneves celebrate on the podium. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Jack Hawksworth and Marco Andretti crash during a restart attempt. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Start of the race. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Start of the race. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Will Power celebrates with the Penske team. (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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