St Petersburg IndyCar: Grosjean leads first practice of 2022
Romain Grosjean, in his first official session for Andretti Autosport, led the opening practice session of the 2022 IndyCar season, a tenth of a second faster than team-mate Colton Herta.
Aside from installation laps, in the first 10 minutes, the action was provided by rookies, as they were granted an extra set of primary tyres for this session.
Andretti Autosport’s newcomer Devlin DeFrancesco was the first to break the 62-second barrier around the 1.8-mile course, clocking a 61.8256s lap, an average of 104.811mph.
His former Indy Lights team-mate Kyle Kirkwood got very close in the AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet, and eventually surpassed him, but by then three-time St. Pete winner Helio Castroneves had vaulted the Meyer Shank Racing-Honda to the top with a 61.6086s.
That time held strong until Andretti Autosport’s veterans hit the track, at which point the team’s star signing Grosjean delivered a 61.0525s, with defending St. Pete winner Colton Herta 0.3241s back.
Top Chevrolet performer in third was Team Penske’s series sophomore Scott McLaughlin, until team-mate and nine-time St. Pete polesitter Will Power slotted into second overall.
Herta reclaimed that position with his next flyer, his deficit to Grosjean down to 0.1042s, while Graham Rahal and Jack Harvey had moved their Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing machines into fourth and sixth, split by a third Andretti car, that of Alexander Rossi.
Simon Pagenaud, Meyer Shank Racing Honda
Photo by: IndyCar Series
With 11 minutes to go, Simon Pagenaud in his first official session with Meyer Shank moved into fourth but, three minutes later, Jimmie Johnson skittered into the Turn 10 run-off.
Despite his front brake catching fire while he was sitting still, the seven-time NASCAR champion kept his cool, and shuffled his way out without needing help from the marshals, but the incident had brought out the red flag.
There were late improvements after the short delay, the most notable of which was Rinus VeeKay shooting into ninth for Ed Carpenter Racing, while David Malukas ended the session as top rookie in 10th for Dale Coyne Racing, two slots ahead of his 2021 Indy Lights rival Kirkwood.
Surprising under-performers included two-time St. Pete winner Josef Newgarden in 14th, despite turning his fastest lap at the close of the session. Yet that was still enough to put him ahead of all the Chip Ganassi Racing entries, the best of which was Marcus Ericsson in 15th.
The Arrow McLaren SP cars were also surprisingly adrift, Felix Rosenqvist and Pato O’Ward finishing up 16th and 21st.
|1||Romain Grosjean||Andretti Autosport||14||1'01.052||106.138|
|2||Colton Herta||Andretti Autosport||19||1'01.156||0.104||105.957|
|3||Will Power||Team Penske||18||1'01.228||0.175||105.834|
|4||Simon Pagenaud||Meyer Shank Racing||18||1'01.324||0.272||105.667|
|5||Graham Rahal||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||13||1'01.368||0.315||105.592|
|6||Alexander Rossi||Andretti Autosport||17||1'01.457||0.404||105.440|
|7||Jack Harvey||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||16||1'01.490||0.437||105.382|
|8||Scott McLaughlin||Team Penske||18||1'01.535||0.482||105.305|
|9||Rinus van Kalmthout||Ed Carpenter Racing||17||1'01.552||0.499||105.276|
|10||David Malukas||Dale Coyne Racing with HMD||22||1'01.588||0.536||105.214|
|11||Helio Castroneves||Meyer Shank Racing||18||1'01.608||0.556||105.180|
|12||Kyle Kirkwood||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||22||1'01.617||0.565||105.165|
|13||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Autosport||21||1'01.663||0.610||105.087|
|14||Josef Newgarden||Team Penske||18||1'01.690||0.637||105.041|
|15||Marcus Ericsson||Chip Ganassi Racing||18||1'01.692||0.639||105.038|
|16||Felix Rosenqvist||Arrow McLaren SP||14||1'01.726||0.674||104.979|
|17||Alex Palou||Chip Ganassi Racing||17||1'01.726||0.674||104.979|
|18||Conor Daly||Ed Carpenter Racing||19||1'01.746||0.693||104.946|
|19||Takuma Sato||Dale Coyne Racing||17||1'01.761||0.709||104.919|
|20||Scott Dixon||Chip Ganassi Racing||18||1'01.774||0.722||104.897|
|21||Patricio O'Ward||Arrow McLaren SP||14||1'01.829||0.777||104.804|
|22||Callum Ilott||Juncos Hollinger Racing||23||1'02.157||1.105||104.251|
|23||Dalton Kellett||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||23||1'02.244||1.192||104.105|
|24||Jimmie Johnson||Chip Ganassi Racing||13||1'02.424||1.372||103.805|
|25||Christian Lundgaard||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||22||1'02.524||1.472||103.639|
|26||Tatiana Calderon||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||22||1'03.717||2.664||101.699|
|View full results|
F1 champion Verstappen says 'Alonso only wants to return to Le Mans if it's with me'
F1 champion Verstappen says 'Alonso only wants to return to Le Mans if it's with me' F1 champion Verstappen says 'Alonso only wants to return to Le Mans if it's with me'
Wayne Taylor Racing will be “stronger” with second GTP car in IMSA 2024
Wayne Taylor Racing will be “stronger” with second GTP car in IMSA 2024 Wayne Taylor Racing will be “stronger” with second GTP car in IMSA 2024
Sauber breaks tradition by revealing 2024 UK F1 launch
Sauber breaks tradition by revealing 2024 UK F1 launch Sauber breaks tradition by revealing 2024 UK F1 launch
The Marquez problem Yamaha is about to face with its MotoGP superstar
The Marquez problem Yamaha is about to face with its MotoGP superstar The Marquez problem Yamaha is about to face with its MotoGP superstar
The long evolution of Dallara's Indy 500 winner
The long evolution of Dallara's Indy 500 winner The long evolution of Dallara's Indy 500 winner
Nigel Mansell’s greatest F1 and Indycar drives
Nigel Mansell’s greatest F1 and Indycar drives Nigel Mansell’s greatest F1 and Indycar drives
How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled
How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021
Subscribe and access Autosport.com with your ad-blocker.
From Formula 1 to MotoGP we report straight from the paddock because we love our sport, just like you. In order to keep delivering our expert journalism, our website uses advertising. Still, we want to give you the opportunity to enjoy an ad-free and tracker-free website and to continue using your adblocker.