Will Power is to the streets of St. Petersburg as Thanos is to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he is inevitable. He will start on pole for the ninth career time at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
The series returned to the original road course qualifying format, starting with two groups where the top six advance to the round of twelve before the Firestone Fast Six sets the front three rows of the grid.
Group One would send James Hinchcliffe, Jack Harvey, Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon, Simon Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi through, while Group Two would see a bit more drama.
Originally, Group Two was to send through Colton Herta, Rinus VeeKay, Will Power, Felix Rosenqvist, Sebastien Bourdais, and Pato O’Ward. However, Rosenqvist was handed a penalty and knocked out of the session, bumping Oliver Askew into the round of twelve.
Then, after a long delay, Race Control decided that VeeKay and Askew did not slow down for a local yellow as Max Chilton went off track, moving Alex Palou and Conor Daly into the session.
VeeKay and Askew’s crews appealed the penalties, and only had one fast lap deleted each, both still enough to keep them in the session, bumping Palou and Daly back out. Rosenqvist’s penalty was upheld.
The round of twelve saw Power, Herta, O’Ward, Harvey, Hinchcliffe, and Rossi advance, as both title contenders Newgarden and Dixon were eliminated, and will start ninth and eleventh respectively.
In the Fast Six, Power would do what he does best, and put his Verizon Chevrolet on pole with a lap time of 1:01.036. Next to him on the front row will be Alexander Rossi, who set a lap time of 1:01.173.
On row two we find the other two Andretti Autosport affiliated machines of Colton Herta and James Hinchcliffe, who have both shown brilliant pace this weekend so far as they were first and second in the earlier practice session.
The third row will be filled out by Jack Harvey of Meyer Shank Racing and Pato O’Ward of Arrow McLaren SP.
Scott McLaughlin must have hoped for a better qualifying debut, as he will find himself on the second to last row of the grid after being in the top ten in practice.
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg will take place tomorrow at 14:30 EST / 19:30 GMT.
Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Fast Six
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||NAT||TEAM||BEST TIME|
|1||12||Will Power||AUS||Team Penske||01:01.036|
|2||27||Alexander Rossi||USA||Andretti Autosport||01:01.173|
|3||88||Colton Herta||USA||Andretti Harding Steinbrenner Autosport||01:01.181|
|4||26||James Hinchcliffe||CAN||Andretti Autosport||01:01.362|
|5||60||Jack Harvey||ENG||Meyer Shank Racing||01:01.367|
|6||5||Pato O’Ward||MEX||Arrow McLaren SP||01:01.772|
You can view the full qualifying results here.