Grosjean grabs pole in crash-filled qualifying

Romain Grosjean delivered a superb remaining qualifying lap to defeat Andretti Autosport team-mate Colton Herta and earn the second pole place of his profession as a number of stars’ days went awry.

The Firestone Fast Six rapidly was the ‘non-crashing 4’, with Grosjean popping out on high over Herta, Pato O’Ward and Marcus Ericsson.

What occurred in Q3

Kyle Kirkwood began the session at a drawback, having used two units of contemporary alternate Firestones to get out of Q1, so had no contemporary alternates for the ultimate phase of qualifying. That concern appeared small when he slid straight on on the remaining flip, and missed the tire barrier to crunch arduous into the concrete. He drove the wreckage again to pitlane.

Once the motion resumed, McLaughlin broke a right-rear toelink on the Turn 10 wall, which despatched him right into a pirouette via the chicane, inflicting one other crimson flag. Like Kirkwood, he would have his time deleted. They will begin fifth and sixth respectively.

Despite additionally struggling the identical concern as Kirkwood when it comes to having no contemporary alternates, Ericsson briefly took high spot, however was quickly deposed by O’Ward’s Arrow McLaren and Herta of Andretti Autosport. Yet Grosjean delivered a surprising remaining sector to beat Herta’s benchmark by 0.4155sec and declare his first pole place in an Andretti automotive.

O’Ward was simply 0.0476sec behind Herta and 0.42sec forward of Ericsson.

What occurred in Q2

Kirkwood bought a drive-through penalty for inflicting a neighborhood yellow after a visit down the Turn 4 escape street, however he was on used alternates so he was as a result of pit anyway.

After everybody’s first runs, Alexander Rossi sat high with a 1m00.0040sec, with Scott McLaughlin second however a full 0.28sec behind, chased by Scott Dixon, Will Power and Colton Herta.

Everyone ducked in for contemporary alternate ‘greens’, and Felix Rosenqvist delivered one other sub one-minute effort, a 59.7971s lap which was then shaded by Kyle Kirkwood’s 59.6357s. Kirkwood’s teammate Romain Grosjean got here in simply 0.09sec behind, whereas Colton Herta went a shade sooner with a 59.5442 to finish an Andretti 1-2-3.

O’Ward, Marcus Ericsson and McLaughlin accomplished the highest six, however their teammates had been left dissatisfied, with Palou and Dixon set to start out seventh and ninth for Ganassi, Rosenqvist and Rossi eighth and 12th for Arrow McLaren, and nine-time St. Pete polesitter Power solely 10th, simply forward of Lundgaard of RLL.

What occurred in Q1 Group 2

Ed Carpenter Racing’s Conor Daly was one of many few on this 14-car group to return out instantly on alternate tires so it was no shock to see him high by over a second initially, with fellow alternate runners Devlin De Francesco and Callum Ilott additionally shining on the softer rubber to depose him. DeFrancesco, delivered a 1m00.3339 to go high.

They had been then cut up by primary-tired Romain Grosjean of Andretti Autosport, earlier than the large hitters pitted for the inexperienced alternates.

Grosjean threw in a 59.8790sec, solely to be shaded by his teammate Colton Herta by 0.05sec, however then each had been edged by simply 0.0007sec! – to assert high spot. Behind Herta and Grosjean was Alex Palou in one other Ganassi entry and Alexander Rossi, who meant all three Arrow McLarens transferred to Q2.

Those knocked out included two-time St. Pete winner Josef Newgarden as a result of lack of a really clear lap, and Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing, who was inadvertently held up on a flyer by Palou.

What occurred in Q1 Group 1

Many drivers went out immediately on alternate tires, Simon Pagenaud of Meyer Shank Racing ducking down into the 1m00s zone on his banker lap, however he was swiftly toppled by Kyle Kirkwood of Andretti Autosport on 1m00.5185s and the Arrow McLarens of Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist. Rookie Marcus Armstrong confirmed properly to leap into fourth.

Defending race-winner Scott McLaughlin sat sixth, after the primary run.

On the second runs, Rosenqvist ducked below the one-minute barrier with 59.9396 forward of his team-mate O’Ward, with McLaughlin leaping his Penske into third forward of Armstrong’s Ganassi machine with Helio Castroneves of Meyer Shank in fifth forward of Christian Lundgaard.

Then Pagenaud slid into the tires on his remaining effort, IndyCar’s new guidelines permitting the remaining runners one out-lap and a flyer. On Firestone’s new inexperienced sidewalled tires, that was sufficient to see Lundgaard of Rahal Letterman Lanigan and Kirkwood to leap into second and third and Marcus Ericsson to bump out team-mate Armstrong, simply behind McLaughlin.

Although he didn’t make it via, Argentine touring automotive ace did a commendable job in his first ever open-wheel qualifying session to wind up lower than 1.2sec slower than Rosenqvist’s benchmark.

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