Defending Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg winner Josef Newgarden found himself at the top of the timing sheets once again on the Streets of St. Petersburg, as all of his Team Penske teammates finished the session in the top ten.
Newgarden’s time of 1:00.802 was closely followed by Will Power in second with a time of 1:00.810. Simon Pagenaud finally found himself towards the top of the scoring sheets again in fifth with a time of 1:00.899, while rookie Scott McLaughlin finished the session in eighth with a time of 1:01.015 at the track he made his IndyCar debut at last October.
The session was delayed for a brief period after an issue with timing and scoring, but soon got going. The only other stoppage came with three minutes remaining as Sebastien Bourdais overshot turn 10, and stalled his A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet trying to return to the track. After the checkered flag flew, the top 15 times were all within 0.5 seconds of each other, showing just how competitive this 2021 NTT IndyCar Series field is.
Splitting the Penskes of Power and Pagenaud were the Andretti Autosport duo of Colton Herta and Alexander Rossi. After being top contenders for a majority of the October race, they finished right back at the top with times of 1:00.834 and 1:00.865 for third and fourth place respectively.
Chip Ganassi Racing were not as dominant as they were in practice last week at Barber Motorsports Park, as Scott Dixon‘s time of 1:00.915 was good enough for sixth place, the highest of any of the Ganassi cars. Marcus Ericsson finished eleventh, while Alex Palou and Jimmie Johnson found themselves way down the order in twentieth and twenty-fourth respectively.
Sandwiching eighth-place McLaughlin were the two Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolets of Felix Rosenqvist and Pato O’Ward. Despite locking up and going into the runoff area in turn 7, Rosenqvist set a time of 1:00.995 that was good enough for seventh place. O’Ward had a cleaner session, but finished ninth with a time of 1:01.060.
Graham Rahal and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing started this weekend off much better than last, cracking the top ten with a time of 1:01.091, capitalizing on the pace the team found during the race last weekend at Barber.
One of the first cars on track today, Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing‘s rookie Romain Grosjean finished the session in ninteenth with a time of 1:01.605. Like Bourdais, Grosjean also made a trip to the turn 10 runoff road, after locking up his rear tyres with 16 minutes left in the session. He was able to quickly get the car turned around and back on track.
The second practice session will take place on Saturday 24 April at 0945 EST / 1445 BST.
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Practice 1 Results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||NAT||TEAM||LAP TIME|
|1||2||Josef Newgarden||USA||Team Penske||01:00.802|
|2||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||01:00.810|
|3||26||Colton Herta||USA||Andretti Autosport||01:00.834|
|4||27||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Autosport||01:00.865|
|5||22||Simon Pagenaud||FRA||Team Penske||01:00.899|
|6||9||Scott Dixon||NZL||Chip Ganassi Racing||01:00.915|
|7||7||Felix Rosenqvist||SWE||Arrow McLaren SP||01:00.995|
|8||3||Scott McLaughlin (R)||NZL||Team Penske||01:01.015|
|9||5||Pato O’Ward||MEX||Arrow McLaren SP||01:01.060|
|10||15||Graham Rahal||USA||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||01:01.091|
|11||8||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Chip Ganassi Racing||01:01.117|
|12||21||Rinus VeeKay||NED||Ed Carpenter Racing||01:01.175|
|13||28||Ryan Hunter-Reay||USA||Andretti Autosport||01:01.194|
|14||14||Sebastien Bourdais||FRA||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||01:01.269|
|15||60||Jack Harvey||ENG||Meyer Shank Racing||01:01.298|
|16||20||Conor Daly||USA||Ed Carpenter Racing||01:01.361|
|17||29||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||01:01.402|
|18||30||Takuma Sato||JPN||Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing||01:01.460|
|19||51||Romain Grosjean (R)||FRA||Dale Coyne Racing w/ Rick Ware Racing||01:01.605|
|20||10||Alex Palou||ESP||Chip Ganassi Racing||01:01.739|
|21||18||Ed Jones||UAE||Dale Coyne Racing w/ Vasser-Sullivan||01:02.153|
|23||4||Dalton Kellett||CAN||A.J. Foyt Enterprises||01:02.926|
|24||48||Jimmie Johnson (R)||USA||Chip Ganassi Racing||01:03.131|