3 months ago, rookie Agustin Canapino could only say “hello” in English, now he’s about to embark on his INDYCAR debut this season, details

Agustin Canapino has a tall task at hand entering his rookie season in the NTT INDYCAR Series. Not only is this his first year in the series, this is his first time in the United States too. He doesn’t know these cars, these tracks or even these other drivers. This is all new to him.

I mean, Agustin is in a very tough position,” his teammate Callum Ilott admitted. “It’s not easy being a rookie, and it’s definitely not easy being a rookie without single seater experience, so I’m very interested to see how he gets on. I’m going to do my best to help him as much as possible, especially over the next few days here.

“It’s a tough one because of the position that he’s in. It’s a bit of an unknown for me, for the team, for the championship, because for sure he’s quick. But again, it’s a real really tough thing to jump into.

“So I really — I’m a bit nervous for him, and I admire the jump because it’s not easy to do. Obviously Scott McLaughlin has done it in, shall we say, a different environment, but he’s done it, and Agustin has that background but from Argentina.”

Another difficult part of his learning curve is the fact that the 32-year-old has barely even been out of the country of Argentina before.

“Yes, I left, but only for a few days, but it my first time living outside my country,” he says. “I did my career in South America and speak Spanish, only a little bit of Portuguese. When I did stock car in Brazil I did two races, but otherwise Spanish.”

Because of that, Canapino barely knows English. He said he’s happy to be here but apologized for his lack of knowing our language. We all thought he was joking because he sounded great. If he didn’t say that fact, we’d have never known.

As far as when he even started this journey of learning the English language?

“Three months ago I only could say hello,” he notes.

Canapino has a teacher helping him learn. The teacher is from Argentina. He does 2-3 classes a week. The classes range from an hour to an hour-in-a-half, but he says that he focuses a lot to at least try to learn to speak, to communicate, and of course when he can speak to his engineers.

As far as why make this trek this at his age now, he says it was simple.

“Because it’s INDYCAR,” he said.” INDYCAR is in my opinion the most demanding and competitive category in the world. For me it’s a big opportunity to try something outside, something in international level. We are here with Grosjean, with Dixon, with Power, of course Callum, one of the best drivers in the world, so for me it’s a big opportunity.

“Of course we are in trouble because I don’t know the cars, the tracks, the ovals, but I love the challenge. I love the situation. So I know it’s very difficult to me, but I have confidence. Of course I need time. I need time. I need to learn day by day, test by test. That’s it.”

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