Felix Rosenqvist’s first NTT IndyCar Series race day in Toronto began with his No. 10 NTT Data Honda atop the timesheet following a noontime warm-up session ahead of the final temporary street circuit contest of 2019.
What it means: Rosenqvist and Will Power were the only drivers to turn 59-second laps in the session and did so on black-sidewalled primary Firestone tires rather than the quicker alternate compound, offering an example of the ideal race pace on the tire that will last longest during the race.
Scott Dixon and Graham Rahal took Firestone reds to the third and fourth positions, 0.0949 and 0.1318 seconds off Rosenqvist’s pace. A lap worthy of fifth-place in warm-up from Josef Newgarden, set on blacks, indicates the potential race pace of another front-running car.
Background: All three of Rosenqvist’s Indy Lights wins during his 2016 campaign in the junior series occurred on street circuits, including two on consecutive days on the streets of Toronto’s Exhibition Place in his only previous weekend competing at the venue. The Swede’s resume features two dozen starts in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship — notorious for racing on ultra-tight street courses, much like Toronto’s.
Rosenqvist has finished each session of the weekend to this point within the top three. Fourth-place finishes on the St. Petersburg and Detroit street circuits mark the best results of his rookie season thus far, proving his strength at places used as racetracks just once each year.
Also notable: Pole sitter Simon Pagenaud was sixth as the final driver within half a second of Rosenqvist. Alexander Rossi in seventh and Newgarden in fifth were separated by 0.3597 seconds on their respective quickest laps.
With 1.5477 seconds separating Rosenqvist at the forefront of the field from AJ Foyt Racing’s Matheus Leist in last, warm-up was the most competitive full-field session of the weekend leading up to the race in that regard.
Results: 2019 Honda Indy Toronto Warm-Up
Next on track: NBCSN’s live coverage of the 11th IndyCar race of 2019 will began at 3 p.m. EDT, 42 minutes before the scheduled green flag time.