Rookie Felix Rosenqvist believes improved tire management is the key to unlocking a strong finish at the IndyCar Grand Prix.
The Swede has struggled for consistency since a stellar opening race of the season in St. Petersburg but heads into this weekend’s now traditional month of May curtain-raiser with renewed focus.
“I view that as our main priority at the moment, getting the tires to last over a racing distance and improving our long-run pace”, said the 27-year-old Honda driver. Despite posting a top-5 finish and two top-10 finishes, Rosenqvist feels he is yet to find the sweet spot in terms of qualifying and race pace this season.
“It’s all about getting both qualifying and the race together on the same weekend”, he said.
Rosenqvist aims for greater consistency
The Chip Ganassi racer made the Firestone Fast Six in qualifying for the opening two of races the season before failing to make it out of his qualifying group at both Alabama and Long Beach. Undeterred, Rosenqvist is confident he and his NTT Data crew can make progress this weekend. Thanks, in part, to testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this year.
“We had a test at the IMS road course a little while ago and managed to find a few interesting things, notably in the area of tire management”, said Rosenqvist.
Ganassi star expects to be in contention at Indy
Rosenqvist – widely tipped pre-season as the likely rookie of the year winner – has been outshone by the sensational Colton Herta. Following Herta’s DNF at Long Beach, Rosenqvist has closed to within 8 points and is quietly optimistic about his chances this weekend: “I’m sure we’ll be up there fighting in the NTT DATA car.”
“The INDYCAR Grand Prix could be a race of attrition and the track has at least two proper overtaking zones, so I expect another exciting event.”
The IndyCar Grand Prix weekend starts with practice Friday, May 10 from 9.10am (local) before qualifying for the Firestone Fast Six and NTT P1 Award from 4.30pm. NBSCN will carry live coverage of qualifying.
The green flag drops on the 85-lap race around the IMS road course at 3.50pm with live coverage on NBC.