Romain Grosjean starts Indycar season with pole position at St Petersburg
The 2023 season has just started in the best possible way for Romain Grosjean. On Saturday in the heat and wind of West Florida, driver Andretti took pole position in the St Petersburg Grand Prix, the first round of the Indycar season. In 59”553, the Frenchman was well ahead of teammate Colton Herta (59”968) and McLaren driver “Pato” O’Ward.
This is Grosjean’s second pole in Indycar after that achieved at the Indy Grand Prix in 2021 (with Dale Coyne Racing at the time). He will therefore start in an ideal position for the 100-lap race on Sunday, which promises to be eventful given the number of incidents recorded since Friday evening on this tricky track in town.
Defending champion Will Power only 10th
Things were much less positive for the other Frenchman in Indycar, Simon Pagenaud. The Meyer Shank Racing driver has been on the pace since the start of the weekend, but he made an eliminatory fault during the first phase of qualifying. By stalling after hitting the tires lightly at turn 4, he caused the exit of the red flag, which caused him to lose his two best times and not have the slightest chance of qualifying for the second phase.
He will therefore start 26th on Sunday (out of 27 starters) and will have to make a few strategic moves to climb back up to the head of the race. Defending champion Will Power (Team Penske) will be tenth on the starting grid and his teammate Scott McLaughlin (winner last year at “St Pete” from… pole) will start fifth.