IndyCar drivers start minor brawl after feud boils over at final practice session in Toronto

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Sebastien Bourdais and Takuma Sato got into a shoving match following their final practice race in Toronto on Saturday. (Gerry Angus/Getty Images)
Sebastien Bourdais and Takuma Sato got into a shoving match following their final practice race in Toronto on Saturday. (Gerry Angus/Getty Images)

Things turned ugly fast on Saturday on the streets of Toronto ahead of Sunday’s IndyCar race in the city, leaving two drivers fuming.

Shortly after the morning practice session ended on Saturday before Sunday’s Honda Indy Toronto, drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Takuma Sato got into a shoving match in pit row.

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There was a crash during the practice session, which awarded each driver one full timed lap in the practice session. During that final lap, however, Bourdais passed Sato — which set the Japanese star off.

So, Sato stormed straight down to Bourdais’ car and got into his face. After exchanging words, the two started shoving each other back and forth before they were finally separated.

“It was a ridiculous moment,” Sato said, via the Indianapolis Star. "I saw Josef (Newgarden) was sort of warming up his tires on the back straight so I had to back off. There’s not point to overtake him, because what do you gain?

"But then Bourdais comes screaming out, squeezing me into the wall, I mean, what’s the point? Then he kept going and nearly hit Newgarden on the exit of Turn 5. How ridiculous is that? What are you trying to achieve? I have no idea."

Bourdais, after watching the replay, said that he felt Sato completely overreacted to the incident. After all, he said, the final lap didn’t matter. Nobody was going to get up to full speed in that amount of time anyway.

“I really didn’t have any expectations that lap was going to be any good because it’s really hard to clean up the tires and get going anyways, so really did it make any difference? No, because everyone was two seconds off the pace,” Bourdais said, via the Indianapolis Star. “That’s why it’s even more stupid to come out of the car fuming like that and making a scene. It just makes no sense.”

The feud won’t end anytime soon

Bourdais said he doesn’t plan to apologize to Sato.

In fact, he feels that Sato should apologize to him — for Saturday’s incident and a handful of others.

“If anything, I should be the one who was pissed,” Bourdais said, via the Indianapolis Star. “He’s pretty much ruined our race in Texas and blocked us for the better part of three stints. At Road America, he gave the first punch, and roughed us up in the race. I never even went to him; I never asked for anything. We knew he races hard, and that’s the way it is. ... But it’s becoming a bit of a habit, and I’m just a bit tired of it.

“I wish he’d come and apologize. That’s the least he should be doing. But I don’t get the feeling he’ll be doing that. I probably shouldn’t go to him, because I’m probably not going to be very pleasant.”

Sato, though, feels the same way. He’s not going to be the one to apologize first.

When the two hit the track on Sunday — they will start next to each other — Sato just hopes the race is clean.

“I’m always open to talk to him, but is he willing to? Seems like he (just wants) to be impulsive and has no idea,” Sato said, via the Indianapolis Star. “I think he’ll be professional enough to race hard but fair (on Sunday). If not, I’ll be very disappointed.”

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