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Qualifying report
IndyCar St. Pete

IndyCar St. Petersburg: Grosjean grabs pole in crash-filled qualifying

Romain Grosjean delivered a brilliant final lap to defeat Andretti Autosport team-mate Colton Herta in qualifying for the IndyCar season opener at St Petersburg and earn his second series pole.

Romain Grosjean, Andretti Autosport

Photo by: IndyCar Series

Fellow Andretti driver Kyle Kirkwood began the final qualifying session at a disadvantage, having used two sets of fresh alternate Firestones to get out of Q1, so had no fresh alternates for the last segment.

However, that issue seemed small when he slid straight on at the final turn, and missed the tyre barrier to crunch hard into the concrete.

Once the action resumed, Penske's Scott McLaughlin broke a right-rear toelink on the Turn 10 wall, which sent him into a pirouette through the chicane, causing another red flag.

Despite also suffering the same issue as Kirkwood in terms of having no fresh alternates, Marcus Ericsson briefly took top spot when the session finally began in earnest, but was soon deposed by Pato O’Ward’s Arrow McLaren and Colton Herta of Andretti Autosport.

Yet Grosjean then delivered a stunning final sector to beat Herta’s benchmark by 0.4155 seconds and claim his first pole position in an Andretti car.

O’Ward was just 0.0476s behind Herta and 0.42s ahead of Ericsson.

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Earlier, Alexander Rossi sat top of the Q2 times after everyone’s first runs, with McLaughlin second but a full 0.28s behind, chased by Scott Dixon, Will Power and Herta.

Everyone then ducked in for fresh alternate ‘greens’, and Felix Rosenqvist delivered another sub one-minute effort, which was then shaded by Kirkwood.

There was disappointment for Chip Ganassi racers Alex Palou and Dixon, however, as they are set to start seventh and ninth.

Rosenqvist and Rossi were eighth and 12th for Arrow McLaren, and nine-time St. Pete polesitter Power only 10th, just ahead of Christian Lundgaard of RLL.

Two-time St. Pete winner Josef Newgarden was among the early Q1 casualties as he was unable to enjoy a truly clear lap and will therefore start only 14th, while Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing was inadvertently held up on a flyer by Palou.

Although he didn’t make it through, Argentine touring car ace Agustin Canapino did a commendable job in his first ever open-wheel qualifying session in the group 1 segment to wind up less than 1.2s slower than Rosenqvist’s benchmark and he will line up 21st.

IndyCar St. Petersburg - Qualifying results

Q3

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Interval
1 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 59.5532    
2 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 59.9687 0.4155 0.4155
3 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 1'00.0163 0.4631 0.0476
4 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'00.4435 0.8903 0.4272
5 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske      
6 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States Andretti Autosport      

Q2

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Interval
1 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 59.5442    
2 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States Andretti Autosport 59.6357 0.0915 0.0915
3 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 59.7320 0.1878 0.0963
4 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 59.7367 0.1925 0.0047
5 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 59.7624 0.2182 0.0257
6 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 59.7686 0.2244 0.0062
7 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 59.7781 0.2339 0.0095
8 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren 59.7971 0.2529 0.0190
9 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 59.8010 0.2568 0.0039
10 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 59.9482 0.4040 0.1472
11 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 59.9618 0.4176 0.0136
12 United States Alexander Rossi Arrow McLaren 1'00.0040 0.4598 0.0422

Q1 G2

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Interval
1 United States Colton Herta United States Andretti Autosport 59.8220    
2 France Romain Grosjean United States Andretti Autosport 59.8790 0.0570 0.0570
3 New Zealand Scott Dixon United States Chip Ganassi Racing 59.9397 0.1177 0.0607
4 Canada Devlin DeFrancesco United States Andretti Autosport 1'00.3339 0.5119 0.3942
5 United Kingdom Callum Ilott United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 1'00.3868 0.5648 0.0529
6 United States Graham Rahal United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'00.3947 0.5727 0.0079
7 Netherlands Rinus van Kalmthout United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'00.4831 0.6611 0.0884
8 United States David Malukas United States Dale Coyne Racing 1'00.5508 0.7288 0.0677
9 Spain Alex Palou United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'00.6490 0.8270 0.0982
10 United States Josef Newgarden United States Team Penske 1'00.7071 0.8851 0.0581
11 United States Alexander Rossi Arrow McLaren 1'00.7839 0.9619 0.0768
12 United States Conor Daly United States Ed Carpenter Racing 1'00.8639 1.0419 0.0800
13 Australia Will Power United States Team Penske 1'01.3379 1.5159 0.4740
14 Denmark Benjamin Pedersen United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'01.8685 2.0465 0.5306

Q1 G1

Cla Driver Team Time Gap Interval
1 Sweden Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren 59.9396    
2 Denmark Christian Lundgaard United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'00.0121 0.0725 0.0725
3 United States Kyle Kirkwood United States Andretti Autosport 1'00.0451 0.1055 0.0330
4 Mexico Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren 1'00.1146 0.1750 0.0695
5 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin United States Team Penske 1'00.1201 0.1805 0.0055
6 Sweden Marcus Ericsson United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'00.2018 0.2622 0.0817
7 New Zealand Marcus Armstrong United States Chip Ganassi Racing 1'00.3158 0.3762 0.1140
8 Brazil Helio Castroneves United States Meyer Shank Racing 1'00.5049 0.5653 0.1891
9 United States Santino Ferrucci United States A.J. Foyt Enterprises 1'00.5301 0.5905 0.0252
10 United Kingdom Jack Harvey United States Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 1'00.7270 0.7874 0.1969
11 Agustin Canapino United States Juncos Hollinger Racing 1'01.0692 1.1296 0.3422
12 Ray Robb United States Dale Coyne Racing 1'02.3711 2.4315 1.3019
13 France Simon Pagenaud United States Meyer Shank Racing 6'37.4112 5'37.4716 5'35.0401

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