Felix Rosenqvist enjoyed the strongest performance of his 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES campaign to date this weekend in the Grand Prix of Portland, posting a new season-best result.
A podium finisher at Portland International Raceway in 2019, Rosenqvist was on inspired form once again at the Oregon circuit this time around, clinching his best qualifying and race results of the year.
As the sole Chevrolet-powered driver to make the Fast Six cut in qualifying, Rosenqvist sealed a slot on the second row of the grid with P4 for Sunday’s race.
Ahead of his Fast Six advancement, the Arrow McLaren SP man had previously topped the group stages of qualifying with a lap which would remain the outright fastest of the meeting.
“Pace-wise, this has been the best weekend so far for us,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “We’re definitely figuring things out, I’m figuring things out, and we’re getting to the point where I can extract consistently fast lap times. We were pretty much quick enough for the top five in every session this weekend, on both tyre compounds, which is a bit of a breakthrough and very encouraging.“
From his second-row grid slot, Rosenqvist was among a group of drivers battling for the lead heading into the Festival Curves on the opening lap – with chaos erupting as the field stormed into the infamous chicane.
Rosenqvist joined several others – including eventual race winner Alex Palou and multiple champion Scott Dixon – in taking evasive action and cutting the chicane, but race control did not concur, instructing the affected drivers to back down the order.
For Rosenqvist, that meant dropping from the front of the pack to 18th place – but the Swede ultimately recovered well to come home a season-best sixth.
“I just tried to stay away from a crash at the start, but instead we were prioritized down the order by the stewards and that changed the face of our race,” Felix Rosenqvist continues. “The team did a really good job shifting us to a two-stop strategy, and again we were really quick, pulling out the critical laps we needed around the pit stops to move forward. It was our best race so far and now we’ll try and ride this wave for the rest of the season.”
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES paddock now moves south down the west coast to California’s Laguna Seca, where the penultimate round of the campaign takes place next weekend.
Post-race video interview available here.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | Rd. 14
Grand Prix of Portland
Portland International Raceway (USA)
1: Alex Palou (ESP), Ganassi, 110 laps
2: Alexander Rossi (USA), Andretti, +1.289s
3: Scott Dixon (NZL), Ganassi, +4.440s
4: Jack Harvey (GBR), Meyer Shank, +8.220s
5: Josef Newgarden (USA), Penske, +8.956s
6: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), AMSP, +9.323s
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | After 14/16 races
1: Pato O’Ward (MEX), AMSP, 435 p.
2: Alex Palou (ESP), Ganassi, 425 p.
3: Josef Newgarden (USA), Penske, 413 p.
4: Scott Dixon (NZL), Ganassi, 392 p.
5: Marcus Ericsson (SWE), Ganassi, 375 p.
21: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), AMSP, 149 p.