Felix Rosenqvist enjoyed an encouraging conclusion to the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES with a competitive display of pace at the season-ending Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Rosenqvist was consistently quick around the Californian street track as the campaign came to a close, featuring near the top of the timesheets in both practice and qualifying – progressing into the Firestone Fast Six segment for the third time in the last six races.
Taking a strong fifth on the grid for Sunday’s 85-lap finale, Rosenqvist ran in the lead group as the race got underway, the Swede instantly striking to snatch fourth from Penske’s Simon Pagenaud on the opening tour.
Despite running as high as second at one point, however, Rosenqvist’s podium bid was to be derailed in typical 2021 style by a caution period amid the first round of pit stops, shuffling the #7 Arrow McLaren SP machine out of contention to eventually finish 13th.
Colton Herta took victory in Long Beach, while Alex Palou sealed the 2021 title.
“We were off to a good start in the race, and I was able to maintain the pace despite two large (front tyre) flat spots that made it difficult to stop the car,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “We could have been on for something really good today, but we lost all our chances by not pitting immediately when the caution came out. That put us down in the midfield, on the black tyres for the last stint, but all in all I still think it’s been a positive weekend with encouraging pace.”
Rosenqvist ends a difficult campaign, which has included sitting out two races in the wake of a violent crash at the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, ranking 21st in the final INDYCAR standings. The Swede’s best result in his first year with new team Arrow McLaren SP is sixth place in Portland earlier this month.
“It’s been a hugely disappointing season, of course, but we’ve pulled through as a team and we’ve seen the potential – especially towards the end of the year,” Felix Rosenqvist concludes. “I really want to thank the entire team at Arrow McLaren SP, and especially my guys on the #7 car, for their relentless work this season. It has been a pleasure and I know we will grow from here.
“Also, I want to let my fans know that I really appreciate their true support – I can definitely feel it in a year like this. Thank you all for believing in me. I’m already looking forward to next season; we will come back a lot stronger then.”
As previously communicated, Felix Rosenqvist will be moving into his fourth season of NTT INDYCAR SERIES racing in 2022. The new campaign begins in St. Petersburg, Florida, on February 27.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | Rd. 16
Grand Prix of Long Beach
Long Beach (USA)
1: Colton Herta (USA), Andretti, 85 laps
2: Josef Newgarden (USA), Penske, +0.588s
3: Scott Dixon (NZL), Ganassi, +1.075s
4: Alex Palou (ESP), Ganassi, +2.412s
5: Simon Pagenaud (FRA), Penske, +3.123s
13: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), AMSP, +27.416s
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | After 16/16 races
1: Alex Palou (ESP), Ganassi, 549 p.
2: Josef Newgarden (USA), Penske, 511 p.
3: Pato O’Ward (MEX), AMSP, 487 p.
4: Scott Dixon (NZL), Ganassi, 481 p.
5: Colton Herta (USA), Andretti, 455 p.
21: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), AMSP, 205 p.