INDIANAPOLIS – Felix Rosenqvist is rightfully frustrated following Saturday’s INDYCAR Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver enters this weekend’s race with so much promise. See, Rosenqvist bested his CGR teammate of Scott Dixon in qualifying on Friday and was in the top three on the speed charts in both practice sessions earlier in the day.
With Team Penske being off so far this weekend, this was CGR’s best shot at winning this race for the first time in team history. Rosenqvist, thought that he could be that driver to give Chip Ganassi his first INDYCAR Grand Prix win.
Instead, the Swedish rookie struggled on the Firestone Alternates during Saturday’s 85 Lap race and when the alternate tire is the tire of choice around the 2.439-mile road course, then you know you’ll have a rough day.
“It was a tough race, with a lot of things happening,” said Rosenqvist following an eighth place finish on Saturday. “It was kind of bad timing on some things, we had some bad luck and we had some errors here and there.
“I think the main point for us was we were still having issues with degradation in the front on red (Firestone alternate) tires mainly. We just dropped massively and we had to go short on the second stint on reds. That just set us up badly for the rest of the race. I don’t know why it’s happening, but it’s something we are looking into. I feel like we should have been up in the front and somehow we couldn’t do that today. I did everything I could, but it didn’t work out in the No. 10 car. We came out toward the back on the wet tires, and I think we managed to get four or five guys in the end and ended up P8.
“It was a good salvage of points and we managed to recover a lot. At the end of the day, we can be happy with that, but overall I’m very disappointed and I felt like we gave away something, which was likely a podium today for the NTT DATA car.”
Still, as Rosenqvist said, it was a good points day for him. It also showed how strong of a rookie that he is. Saturday was already his fourth top 10 finish of the season. No one in the series has more. Only Josef Newgarden, Alexander Rossi, Dixon, Simon Pagenaud and himself even have four. That’s elite company to be in.
Plus, he’s led more laps 46-41 than his five time series champion teammate of Dixon. While it wasn’t the day he wanted, it’s definitely a good start of the season that he could have wanted. He finished fourth in the season opener at St. Pete followed by finishes of 23rd, 10th, 10th and now eighth respectively.
This car only had eight top 10’s all season last year. Tony Kanaan had seven in it in 2017. Rosenqvist, as a rookie, already had four in five tries in 2019.
He’s the real deal.