Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi in the No.27 AutoNation NAPA Auto Parts Honda says he is in a good position to go after the elusive win in Sunday’s season ending Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg where he will roll off from second place on the grid after setting a time of 01:01.1730s and speaking following the action he commented saying:
I think every round of qualifying we got better. We started the weekend strong in practice, so I think that’s a huge difference- maker on these weekends when you only have the one practice session. It’s a really good effort for the team to do the offline development. We haven’t been to a street course yet this year, so to have three cars in the top six is a testament to that. I think we just have to keep chipping away at it, and we’re in a good position to go and get that first win tomorrow.
Speaking to Paddock Eye about the Aeroscreen, Rossi commented saying:
Quite honestly, the visibility has been great. From that standpoint I haven’t even really noticed it.
It doesn’t change the driving style a whole lot. It changes a little bit about what you’re looking for from the car. It’s a little bit harder to see the tight stuff. The change of direction is a little bit slower.
Really the biggest issue, if you call it an issue, is just the heat. It’s hot. I think we’ve all kind of touched on this topic throughout the year. Really this was always going to be one of the bigger tests to run when we get there next year. That’s usually a very hot race.
The street courses are probably the most physically demanding just because they’re so bumpy, low grip. You’re fighting the car a lot more than you would on a permanent course. They’re slower, so not as much forced air coming in. I think an area we need to improve on.
In terms of the heavy hitting items, the visibility, which was a question for everyone, I didn’t think about it till you just brought it up. Hats off to INDYCAR for that.
Colton Herta in the No.88 Capstone #KeepItGreen Honda starts the race from third place with a time of 01:01.1815s and speaking following the action he commented saying:
Pretty frustrated to lose it by that much. The Capstone #ShiftToGreen Honda definitely was the car to do it. We’ll look forward to tomorrow. We’re going to try some stuff in warm-up and go from there
James Hinchcliffe in the No.26 Gainbridge Honda starts the race from fourth place on the grid, his best result in qualifying this season having set a fastest time of 01:01.3626s and speaking following the action he commented saying:
Obviously, very happy to make it into the Fast Six. It’s only the second time we’ve had the chance to do that this year, and it was nice to have pace in practice and carry it over into qualifying – all three runs. In the final session, we thought we were stronger on blacks in Q1 and Q2, so we rolled the dice a bit. I think with the massive delay we had, it cooled off a lot, track temps went down. I think r eds would have been the right choice, but I stand by the decision we made. It was a strategic call to try and pull something out. But happy to be on the second row and happy that a bunch of my teammates are up there with us. Now we just have to put our heads down and have a good one tomorrow
Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda starts the race from 17th place and speaking following the session where he set a 01:01.1732s and speaking following the action he said:
An unfortunate result. Coming out of practice we went and completely switched the setup over to some of our teammates’ (setups). We had a pretty good running going to advance, and the rear of the car broke loose in Turn 5. We were only looking for two-tenths of a second, and that was enough to lose that gap. Unfortunately, we are going to start in a spot that is less than ideal, but we will get creative to make it to the front.”
Marco Andretti in the No.98 AutoNation Honda starts the race from 23rd place.