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IndyCar

Grosjean fastest in first IndyCar practice of 2022

by Jack Benyon
4 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Romain Grosjean started his first weekend with the Andretti Autosport team in perfect fashion by topping IndyCar practice ahead of team-mate Colton Herta at St Petersburg.

Many of the drivers only had one test day before the start of the season, so turning their first laps in practice today would be crucial for preparing for qualifying and the race. It does come with the added proviso of not reading too much into the times in the first session because of this.

Grosjean told The Race he had felt really at home and happy with his car in his one Sebring test day, but that he didn’t want to read too much into that performance in a bid to avoid tempting fate.

However, Herta usurped long-time pacesetter Helio Castroneves and then immediately afterwards Grosjean dropped into P1 with 22 minutes in the session to go, his lap three tenths of a second faster than Herta.

Feb 21 : Everything you need to know about the 2022 IndyCar season

Will Power briefly separated the highly-rated team-mates but Herta then improved again to claim second at a circuit he dominated on with pole and victory in 2021, 0.1042s adrift.

Penske driver Power rounded out the top three ahead of ex-team-mate and new Meyer Shank Racing driver Simon Pagenaud making an impressive debut in his new surroundings.

Graham Rahal gave Rahal Letterman Lanigan a top five to start a season in which it has expanded to three full-time entries, with Jack Harvey two places behind in seventh having moved over from Meyer Shank where Pagenaud has replaced him.

Sandwiched by the Rahal cars was Alexander Rossi in sixth, in a crucial year for the driver out of contract at Andretti and without a win since 2019.

Behind seventh-placed Harvey was Scott McLaughlin, the second year driver starting a third race at St Pete for Penske having made his IndyCar debut in the 2020 finale here, and he headed a top 10 finisher at the race last year: Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay in ninth.

David Malukas was way down the order for the majority of the session, but the Dale Coyne with HMD Racing rookie driver leapt up to 10th, just five tenths off the pacesetter.

A number of high profile drivers were way down the order in practice, although it might not be representative given the lack of pre-season testing.

Feb 07 : Inside Penske's 2022 prep with Josef Newgarden

Among them was Josef Newgarden in 14th, while the reigning champion Alex Palou was 17th and his Ganassi team-mate Scott Dixon in 20th.

Pato O’Ward was 21st for Arrow McLaren SP while team-mate Felix Rosenqvist was 16th.

The drivers will get one more practice, first thing on Saturday morning, before qualifying just after noon on the same day.

Practice 1 Results

Pos Name Team Car Gap Next Gap Leader Best Time
1 Romain Grosjean Andretti Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda 1m01.052s
2 Colton Herta Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Dallara DW12-Honda +0.104s +0.104s 1m01.156s
3 Will Power Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.072s +0.176s 1m01.228s
4 Simon Pagenaud Meyer Shank Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.096s +0.272s 1m01.324s
5 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.044s +0.316s 1m01.368s
6 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda +0.089s +0.405s 1m01.457s
7 Jack Harvey Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.033s +0.438s 1m01.49s
8 Scott McLaughlin Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.045s +0.483s 1m01.535s
9 Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.017s +0.5s 1m01.552s
10 David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsport Dallara DW12-Honda +0.036s +0.536s 1m01.588s
11 Hélio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.02s +0.556s 1m01.608s
12 Kyle Kirkwood A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.009s +0.565s 1m01.617s
13 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda +0.046s +0.611s 1m01.663s
14 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.027s +0.638s 1m01.69s
15 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.002s +0.64s 1m01.692s
16 Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.034s +0.674s 1m01.726s
17 Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0s +0.674s 1m01.726s
18 Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.02s +0.694s 1m01.746s
19 Takuma Sato Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Dallara DW12-Honda +0.015s +0.709s 1m01.761s
20 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.013s +0.722s 1m01.774s
21 Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.055s +0.777s 1m01.829s
22 Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.328s +1.105s 1m02.157s
23 Dalton Kellett A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.087s +1.192s 1m02.244s
24 Jimmie Johnson Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.18s +1.372s 1m02.424s
25 Christian Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.1s +1.472s 1m02.524s
26 Tatiana Calderón A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +1.193s +2.665s 1m03.717s
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