INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson has abandoned Formula 1 to become a world superstar, a goal he achieved on Sunday when he won the Indianapolis 500.
Ericsson dominated Sunday’s race shortly before the finish – in large part due to teammate Scott Dixon’s speed penalty – and held it for Chip Ganassi Racing. But his other teammate, Jimmy Johnson, crashed with four laps remaining and the race was halted with a rare red flag at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
IndyCar is among the purest motorsport competitions and artificial warnings are rarely issued or the race stopped in situations that could alter the outcome.
But a crowd of more than 300,000 people — just a few thousand less than a peg sale and the largest since the start of the pandemic — cheered when IndyCar told cars to head to the pit lane.
The break gave Mexican Pato Award and the rest of the field nearly 12 minutes in the hole lane to strategize to catch up with Ericsson for victory.
The race resumed two rounds ago, and Eriksson easily beat Owerd, who considered for the last time to take the lead that the Swede was defending but did not want to force the situation.
“No, I would have run into the wall if I had tried,” Oward said.
Hakim Karam’s collision between the extremes forced Ericsson to take caution on the last lap and Ericsson took the podium under a yellow flag. Karam was taken to hospital due to a muscle disease.
For Ericsson, this was his third IndyCar win in 52 career opportunities. They were all extraordinary victories after the red flag interruptions, but he never assumed he would win when he waited in his car to resume competition.
“You can never take anything for sure and there was a shortage of roles,” Erickson said. “I was just praying that there wouldn’t be a yellow card, and then I figured it would probably be taken out, and it would be difficult to regain my focus.”
But he did it and continued until he achieved the most important victory of his career. Ericcson was winless in five seasons in F1 before heading to the US for North American racing.
O’Ward did not give up. He signed a contract extension on Friday with Arrow McLaren SP and desperately wanted to win. But he finished second and came close to trying to give Mexico a big celebration in what would be the biggest day in motorsports in his country. Mexican Sergio Perez won the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.
Tony Kanaan finished third in the Gnassi, followed by Swede Felix Rosenqvist, who finished fourth for McLaren.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
“Reader. Beer practitioner. Web expert. Subtly charming travel geek. Friendly music specialist.”