Colton Herta’s take on the collision with Will Power: “What an ass”

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Andretti Autosport driver Colton Herta got taken out by two-time champion Will Power at the Firestone GP in St. Petersburg and had some thoughts on it. Power apologized.

The no. 26 Andretti of Colton Herta was pushed to the tyre barrier at the exit of turn 8 of the St. Petersburg street course after he and Penske’s defending champion Will Power were fighting over 15th place. The Australian made contact with his right rear and Colton was forced to retire.

Herta said in an interview after his retirement: “I’d like to see a replay of it. I still am not sure what happened. I thought I was pretty far ahead of them and I felt a tag in. Left room but felt a tag in the left rear and…”

As he watched the replay, he kept saying: “Oh yeah, he wanted to use the next state over for track room on the exit there so, yeah. I don’t know what I can do there except for, I don’t know, hit the wall so it sucks.

“We’re fast, we were on the black tyres, a lot of guys in front of us were on the reds so we were gonna be able to make some passes there once the tyres were going off and it felt good so yeah. It is unfortunate.

“So he hits me there, gets me all lined up, and then, yep, what an ass.”

Power could only apologise, even though his take on the accident was different: “I hate to ruin anyone’s day, I do, I hate that. I like to race these guys clean and he [Herta] races me clean so I feel really bad that he ended up out and I was able to keep going.

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“Yeah, I mean, we like banged all the way in, and I went up the inside and I had as much luck as I could. I feel bad that it ruined his day, but I for sure he knew I was there like I’m up his inside and I just understeer. It wasn’t like just a big dive bomb it was, well, I’m here and he kind of hung around the outside.”

Will Power got a penalty by race control that sent him to the end of the pack, but after a chaotic day in general, he could recover to 7th place.

After his teammates’ retirements, Newgarden with an engine issue, and McLaughlin in a crash whilst fighting for the lead, he was the highest-finishing Penske on a not-ideal season opener for the team.

“But, it is still a very good day for us, so I’m really happy to get the Verizon car in the top 10. Very hectic day.”