Thursday, December 1, 2022

Takuma Sato Penalized for Interference on Marco Andretti During Indy 500 Qualifying

Takuma Sato saw his maiden qualifying run voided after being penalized by IndyCar.
Takuma Sato saw his maiden qualifying attempt voided after being penalized by IndyCar. Image courtesy of James Black / Penske Entertainment

Takuma Sato received a penalty after race control determined he impeded Marco Andretti during qualifying for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

The 45-year-old Japanese pilot finished up his maiden run but did not utilize the cooldown lane and instead remained on track as Andretti began his warm-up lap for his qualifying attempt. The two found each other in Turn 3 and Andretti was forced to hit the brakes momentarily to evade the two-time Indy 500 winner, thus temporarily stalling momentum for the No. 98 Andretti Herta Autosport Honda.

After a significant amount of time to make a decision following the incident, IndyCar officials opted to take action by voiding Sato’s first qualifying attempt of 232.196 mph (four-lap average). In turn, Sato will be forced to make another attempt in the No. 51 Dale Coye Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda in hopes to advance into Sunday’s Fast 12; only positions 13-33 are locked in for Saturday’s qualifying bout.

Despite the penalty, IndyCar officials denied Andretti another ‘first attempt’ to replace the impacted initial run, which was also hit with a momentary electrical issue that caused problems.

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