Felix Rosenqvist came home in 17th place as the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES opened this weekend with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, an alternative strategy not working out for the Arrow McLaren SP Swede.
Rosenqvist was left in a vulnerable position after qualifying 21st on the grid, deploying an alternative strategy in order to try and rise through the pack.
An early first pit stop appeared to possibly open up the door for a strong result, only for an untimely caution period to scupper the plan and leave Rosenqvist 17th at the flag.
Team-mate Pato O’Ward finished 12th.
“It was a long race, and it’s always difficult starting so far back,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “You have to go for an alternative strategy, and if it doesn’t work you tend to end up roughly where you started. That was kind of my story today. We tried to pit early, but then our strategy fell apart with the timing of the caution period that allowed the others to do a two-stopper. I also encountered some lapped cars that cost me a lot of time.
“I think we had decent pace in clear air, top eight or so, so that’s a positive. We have some work to do and we were obviously hoping for more this weekend, but we will keep pushing hard heading into the next race in Texas.”
The opening round of the new season proved a huge turnout success, with one of the most well-attended races in the history of the St. Petersburg event.
“It’s been an incredible vide around the city this weekend,” Felix Rosenqvist continues. “It’s great to see how well the sport has survived the pandemic. People have not forgotten; in fact they seem even hungrier and more engaged than ever. INDYCAR and the St. Pete organizers are doing a great job and I hope all the fans enjoyed the weekend here with us.”
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg was won by New Zealand’s Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske.
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES resumes on March 20 at Texas Motor Speedway, the first oval event of the season.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | Rd. 1
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg (USA)
1: Scott McLaughlin (NZL), Penske, 100 laps
2: Alex Palou (ESP), Ganassi, +0.509s
3: Will Power (AUS), Penske, +2.467s
4: Colton Herta (USA), Andretti, +15.844s
5: Romain Grosjean (FRA), Andretti, +18.452s
17: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), Arrow McLaren SP, +39.036s
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | After 1/17 races
1: Scott McLaughlin (NZL), Penske, 54 p.
2: Alex Palou (ESP), Ganassi, 41 p.
3: Will Power (AUS), Penske, 36 p.
4: Colton Herta (USA), Andretti, 32 p.
5: Romain Grosjean (FRA), Andretti, 30 p.
17: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), Arrow McLaren SP, 13 p.