Crash.Net IndyCar News
Franchitti, Power back on speaking terms
25 July 2011
Will Power's tirade against Dario Franchitti after the IndyCar race on the streets of Toronto two weeks ago caught the international headlines, with Power calling Franchitti a "dirty racer" and ironically naming him "princess" in their Twitter exchanges.
But come a race weekend and the chance to be in the same room and get face to face again, and it seems that some sense of normality in their relationship has been restored at Edmonton.
"I knew if I looked the guy in the eye, I was going to smile or laugh," said Power at the post-race press conference where, inevitably, the two did indeed come eye-to-eye and instantly seemed to resume diplomatic relations again. "That's why he sat there and didn't look!" laughed Power.
"I think it broke the ice this morning after warm-up. He walked by. That was the first time we made eye contact," he said, laughing again, aware that it was starting to sound like a bad romcom. "I started sort of smiling.
"I put it behind me. I guess we were both playing a bit of mind games with each other there. But at the end of the day you go out there and race how you race."
Asked if the whole furore had maybe got out of hand and started to rebound on him and detract from his own driving, Power was quick to say that this was not the case.
"It wasn't affecting me. I was kind of laughing about it. It's sort of funny to me. I wasn't putting any emotional energy into it," he insisted. "We just basically didn't talk. That was that. I was very focused on the weekend. I felt great today.
"I find it tough to be nasty to people. I can't help it. If I'm angry at someone, I look them in the eye, I'll start laughing. Even if he came up to me after Toronto, maybe I would have laughed about it, too."
But Power insisted that he had no regrets and that the anger about what happened at Toronto had been genuine. "I think I was definitely upset with what happened, no question. But you do have to put it behind you."
And he was insistent that the series had to toughen up on how it handled on-track collisions like the one between him and Franchitti at Toronto.
"I think that's what needed to happen because it will deter people from doing it again. They know if they're going to hit someone, they're going to get a drive-through and end up at the back, as well," he said. "I think all the drivers, all the drivers I spoke to, they all feel the same: it needs to be more strict in every way."
"I wouldn't want Brian [Barnhart] or Al Unser Jr.'s job or Tony Cotman's job, it's a very difficult one," admitted Franchitti, referring to the trio responsible for reviewing on-track incidents and handing out penalties. "There were a lot, including Will and I's incident, that I would say were racing incidents at Toronto. There were a couple that weren't. It's a very fine line.
"I think all the drivers are kind of looking for more of a - I don't know how to say it - but we want to know what's acceptable and what's not," he said, echoing Power's own thoughts. "I think Brian and the guys, they're trying to address that.
"Hopefully we'll get back to what we know is acceptable and what isn't."