Ryan Hunter-Reay used the red-walled Firestone tyres to perfect use to snatch the final podium finish from Helio Castroneves with just a handful of laps to go around the streets of St Petersburg on Sunday.
The Andretti Autosport driver took his #28 machine into the top three in the season opener of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season, and felt that it was a good accomplishment for the team to secure the podium.
“It was a good accomplishment today – very good car and the guys did a great job,” said the former series champion after the race. “We did everything we could today from fifth.
“We got a little held up behind [Luca] Filippi for a bit in the middle of the race and that kind of gapped it, but good day all-in-all. I’ll take starting the year out with a podium for sure.”
Hunter-Reay was the best placed of the four Andretti Autosport drivers, with Carlos Munoz finishing eighth despite a stop and go penalty for causing a collision with Graham Rahal, while Alexander Rossi was the best placed rookie in the field in twelfth and Marco Andretti fifteenth after losing a lap due to a spin while attempting to pass Filippi.