3-time Indianapolis 500 winner, Helio Castroneves, has been penalized following the July 25th incident in Edmonton. After exiting the #3 Penske Racing Dallara, Castroneves first had words with league Technical Director Kevin Blanch before taking a beeline for the Edmonton City Centre Airport flag tower. Castroneves spent a few moments 'expressing his opinion' to the flag man before being approached by Penske Racing President Tim Cindric and IndyCar Safety Director Charles Burns with whom he had a short confrontation. Castroneves later apologized.
In a meeting today at the Indy Racing League headquarters, the IZOD IndyCar Series placed the 35-year-old Castroneves on probation through the remainder of the season and fined the driver $60,000.
“I want to thank Randy Bernard for taking the time to meet with me in Indianapolis today. Once again, I regret what occurred following the IZOD IndyCar Series race in Edmonton and I apologize for my behavior as I let my emotions get the better of me. Although my disappointment with being black-flagged while leading the race with just a few laps to go will probably always remain with me, I understand and accept the league's decision to penalize me for my reaction. I am ready to move forward and I'm hoping to add to Team Penske's success at Mid-Ohio this weekend.” - Helio Castroneves
"This rule is unique to IndyCar racing. It was put in place to protect our competitors, officials and fans, prevent unnecessary damage to these cars and allow for more passing opportunities. Bad things happen when these cars touch and there have been serious incidents with major consequences on temporary circuits throughout Indy car history. With the new wheel interlocking prevention technology that is coming in our 2012 car, we will be re-evaluating this rule in the future." - Brian Barnhart
"I fully support the decisions of chief steward Brian Barnhart and Race Control. The drivers have been aware of the blocking rule for quite some time. Brian reminded the drivers of the blocking rule in the Edmonton pre-race drivers' meeting, which serves as the first warning, and the rule was executed during the race just as it dictates.
This sport is so close and competitive that emotions are always on display. However, that does not justify the post-race conduct of Helio toward series officials. This is a very serious matter and we weighed all options, including suspension. But we felt suspension would hurt the fans more than anyone else. Fans have paid their hard-earned money to watch the best drivers in the world and many bought their tickets for upcoming events with the expectation of watching Helio. He is a great ambassador for this sport and we know his actions after the race in Edmonton are not indicative of his normal behavior." - Randy Bernard