3 June 2013
Simon Pagenaud, Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsport - Q&A
I got worried. I think I lost half a lap thinking too much. I thought, Man, we're going to have a restart, I don't want this at all.
Luckily enough, they cleared him. I think everybody wanted me to win this race. It helped a little bit. They were very active. I don't know what they did with Tristan, pulled him out, restarted him, but the next lap he wasn't there anymore. So thanks to the safety crew. I got to say thanks to them. When I see them, I think I'll buy them a beer .
Tell me a little bit about the relationship you have with your engineer Ben. IndyCar now has its first engineer winning brothers.
Ben is an incredible man, I would say. Also he's a fantastic engineer. I mean, I can't recall the last time I've had a bad balance. We talk a lot about grip right now. But car balance has always been pretty good. Ben knows exactly what I need. I don't even need to talk to him anymore. We've been together since the beginning of 2010 in sports cars. We won the championship in ALMS. He went to NASCAR in 2011. I talked him out of NASCAR, basically coming and joining us at the Schmidt team.
It's great that he followed me because he truly always trusts me. Some days I'm like, Yeah, I don't know what he thinks, but he always trusts me, always thinks he can provide me a better car. Sometimes I think I should have driven better for him. It's this kind of relationship that makes us so strong.
I think his wife is a little jealous of us. My girlfriend is jealous of us. We are pretty much on the phone 12 hours of every day. But that's what makes us so strong.
Yesterday we had a rough day. Today we had a great day because we bounced back. He's really well-supported by Nick, Dan, especially Rob Edwards, our team manager. The whole team is just working really well together. Ben being such a great mood person, it's a great pretty atmosphere on the team.
I think in this series we're used to seeing Ganassi and Penske on top. What does it say to you that anybody can win?
This year it's very much been the case. It's quite impressive, to be honest. We never know who is going to be on top each weekend. Everybody was impressed with Dale Coyne and Conway. Mike was the class of the field most of the time. I was happy to reverse that.
But it's great to see what IndyCar has been able to provide, a product that's helping every team to be able to be competitive. There's a lot of smart people in every team right now. It's about who's going to be the smartest every weekend. But it's certainly very, very competitive, very difficult to pick a winner every race.
How do you feel after these two races? The work that the crew guys had to do to get the cars turned around less than 24 hours.
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