Following swiftly on from the Grand Prix of Alabama, IndyCar is once again in action this weekend as it competes around the streets of St. Petersburg in Florida.
Alex Palou enters the weekend as the early championship leader after claiming victory in the season opener ahead of Penske’s Will Power and reigning champion Scott Dixon. The Spaniard has a 12 point advantage over Power and is 18 points ahead of teammate Dixon.Embed from Getty Images
Last season the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg did go ahead, although it concluded the 2020 season, rather than opened it. In the late October 2020 edition the race was won by Josef Newgarden with Pato O’Ward and Dixon completing the top three.
Newgarden will be looking for a similar result this weekend. This after the Penske driver spun on the opening lap, collecting a few other drivers, which ultimately led to his retirement. Newgarden is twenty third in the championship heading into the weekend.
It will also be interesting to see how O’Ward does, the Mexican having claimed pole position and the fastest lap at Barber last weekend. As mentioned earlier he also had a good race around St. Petersburg last season, the Mexican currently sitting fourth in the championship one point behind Dixon and three ahead of fifth placed Sebastien Bourdais.
Lastly a note on the three 2021 rookies within IndyCar, who are all set to be in action once again in St. Petersburg. Romain Grosjean impressed in his debut IndyCar race, qualifying seventh and going on to finish tenth. The Frenchman is two points behind Alexander Rossi in ninth and one ahead of Jack Harvey who is eleventh in the championship.
Scott McLaughlin meanwhile was classified fourteenth in the 2021 season opener, he has Takuma Sato just ahead of him and Ed Jones just behind him in the championship. Lastly there is Jimmie Johnson who finished nineteenth last weekend and has Dalton Kellett ahead of him and Max Chilton behind him in the championship.