“Piece of f***ing s***” Ericsson raced me “like an a**” on first lap of IndyCar Sonsio GP — Herta

Photo Credit: Penske Entertainment | Chris Owens
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Andretti’s Colton Herta was very annoyed with teammate Marcus Ericsson following contact on the opening lap of the Sonsio GP yesterday afternoon.

It had been a difficult Friday for the former championship leader as he qualified a miserable P24. The team failed to put enough fuel in his car to complete his final attempt, leaving him well down the pack.

A right mess at turn 1 following contact between Fittipaldi and VeeKay saw multiple cars checking up or ending up on the grass, allowing Herta to gain a number of spots and moved into the top 20.

However, as he tried to go around the outside of teammate Marcus Ericsson into turn 4, the Swede locked-up and pushed his teammate into the gravel.

Ericsson was told to give up 5 positions a few laps later, slotting him in behind the Californian. On the radio after the contact, Herta did not hide his feelings about what happened with his stablemate.

“Marcus just crashed me. Fucking Marcus, piece of fucking shit,” was his message.

Speaking post-race, Herta’s tone had not really changed as he was very unimpressed with the former F1 and CGR driver.

“Your teammate is leading the championship and you race him like an ass. I don’t know what you’re thinking.

“He probably braked deeper than he did in qualifying right there, and he runs me clean off the track.

“You’ve got to be smarter than that, man. So, so dumb,” was Herta’s verdict as NBC showed a replay to him.

Nonetheless, Herta showed superb composure over the remaining 84 laps, recovering from P26 after that contact to finish 7th. Pitting early to get out of the traffic paid dividends.

It included a superb battle with Alexander Rossi in the closing stages. He passed his former teammate into turn 7, with the Arrow McLaren man lunging into 10. Herta came out on top as he got a better exit as they headed down to turns 11 and 12, nonetheless.

The 24-year-old believes a podium was possible without the adventures.

“There’s definitely room for improvement. Really, really solid pit stops and solid strategy.

“The team definitely made my job a lot easier today. Picking up positions, a lot of it was through the fuel cycles, good pit stops and undercutting a lot of the guys and that’s how we made the majority of our positions up.

“But I think there was a scenario there where we get a podium.”

Asked if he’ll discuss it with Ericsson, Herta said he would reveal his true feelings about it.

“I’ll let let him know what I feel, yeah.”

Following yesterday’s race, Herta is P4 in the championship, 25 points behind leader Alex Palou.