Felix Rosenqvist earned some hard-fought points in Saturday’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, battling back from a debatable qualifying penalty at the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix.
Rosenqvist initially looked set for a strong showing on the IMS road course when he recorded a time quick enough to progress from the group stages into the final segment of Friday’s qualifying session.
However, he was later adjudged to have not slowed sufficiently for a yellow flag caused by the spinning Scott Dixon in the dying moments of the session, with his best lap deleted as a result.
The penalty, which came despite the yellow flags being waved after the timing line following the completion of his fast lap, saw Rosenqvist thrown out of advancement and pushed down to 19th on the grid.
“Qualifying cost us everything this weekend,” Felix Rosenqvist explains. “I had the lap to go through, and then it’s taken away like this with a penalty for a yellow flag that’s waved after the timing line – and for which I slowed anyway. It was very disappointing and hard to understand.”
Meanwhile, Arrow McLaren SP team-mate Pato O’Ward went on to proceed into the final segment, where he scored pole position.
“Pato proved what the car was capable of – he did a great job,” Rosenqvist continues. “At the same time, it also shows what we missed out on. I was actually quicker than him in the group session, so I honestly think we could have been right up there fighting for pole.”
Once in the race, Rosenqvist progressed from 19th to 13th by the chequered flag, experiencing both highs and lows along the way across the 85-lap encounter.
“It was an interesting race,” says Rosenqvist. “I started on used red (tyres), which I was a bit sceptical about, but that stint turned out really good. We went from P19 to P14, stayed out long and had really good pace.
“Then we put on a new set of red tyres for the second stint and for some reason it was like driving on ice. Maybe there was something wrong with that set – I don’t know – but that really cost us the whole race and we dropped back to around 19th again after a middle stint on the blacks.
“Then we put on reds again for the last stint, and the pace came back. We managed to claw our way back up to P13 in the end and score some points, but it was hard work for quite little reward.”
Completing a run of three races on consecutive weekends, the next NTT INDYCAR SERIES round takes place at the Gateway oval next Saturday, August 21.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | Rd. 12
Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix
Indianapolis Motor Speedway (USA)
1: Will Power (AUS), Penske, 85 laps
2: Romain Grosjean (FRA), Dale Coyne, +1.114s
3: Colton Herta (USA), Andretti, +2.349s
4: Alexander Rossi (USA), Andretti, +3.438s
5: Pato O’Ward (MEX), AMSP, +4.105s
13: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), AMSP, +10.623s
NTT INDYCAR SERIES | After 12/16 races
1: Alex Palou (ESP), Ganassi, 415 p.
2: Pato O’Ward (MEX), AMSP, 394 p.
3: Scott Dixon (NZL), Ganassi, 381 p.
4: Josef Newgarden (USA), Penske, 360 p.
5: Marcus Ericsson (SWE), Ganassi, 353 p.
22: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), AMSP, 135 p.