Felix Rosenqvist was denied a golden opportunity to fight for his second NTT INDYCAR SERIES victory when he was taken out in a lap-one clash at the front of the field this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Rosenqvist came home sixth in the first race of the double-header Honda Indy 200 event on Saturday, leading the Chip Ganassi Racing charge, but still indicated that there was pace for more by setting the second-fastest lap.
That promise was further emphasized when, a day later, Rosenqvist bagged his best qualifying result of the season so far to line up fifth for Sunday’s concluding Race 2.
The Swedish INDYCAR sophomore joined the leading group as they powered into the first sequence of corners at the start, instantly going on the attack for a top three position.
It all came to nothing, however, when Rosenqvist soon found himself the unlucky victim of an unfortunate situation. Front-row starter Santino Ferrucci went off the track while disputing the lead with eventual winner Colton Herta, and careered back onto the tarmac just in time to tag Spain’s Alex Palou.
Palou in turn speared into the back of Rosenqvist’s #10 NTT DATA Honda, which spun into the barriers and into retirement.
Ferrucci was later handed a penalty for his part in the accident, but to no avail for Rosenqvist who – at the track where he scored his maiden INDYCAR podium in 2019 – retired just seconds after the start.
“That was a very disappointing end to the weekend, especially considering where we started and how strong the car was feeling in race trim the day before,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “Obviously, I think we were pretty innocent with what happened. I saw something was going on to the inside of me at the start, and I tried to take as wide of a line as I could in anticipation of what could happen – but I just got hit from behind.
“(Santino) Ferrucci went off, hit another car coming back on, and that car just pinballed into us, unfortunately. It’s a shame because the NTT DATA Honda was really in a good spot for a good result and I think we could have been a factor for the win in that race.”
The NTT INDYCAR SERIES is set to resume at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on October 2-3, highlighting another double-header in the penultimate round of the season.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | Rd. 10&11
Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio
1: Will Power (AUS), Penske, 75 laps
2: Josef Newgarden (USA), Penske, +7.452s
3: Alexander Rossi (USA), Andretti, +8.992s
4: Graham Rahal (USA), RLL, +9.232s
5: Ryan Hunter-Reay (USA), Andretti, +13.228s
6: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), Ganassi, +14.117s
1: Colton Herta (USA), Andretti, 75 laps
2: Alexander Rossi (USA), Andretti, +1.382s
3: Ryan Hunter-Reay (USA), Andretti, +2.496s
4: Graham Rahal (USA), RLL, +3.085s
5: Marcus Ericsson (SWE), Ganassi, +9.917s
DNF: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), Ganassi, out
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | After 11/14 races
1: Scott Dixon (NZL), Ganassi, 456 p.
2: Josef Newgarden (USA), Penske, 384 p.
3: Pato O’Ward (MEX), McLaren SP, 338 p.
4: Colton Herta (USA), Andretti, 327 p.
5: Will Power (AUS), Penske, 306 p.
11: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), Ganassi, 244 p.