Race Report: 2021 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

2021 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg logo

Streets of St. Petersburg
April 25, 2021

Race Top Five

RankDriverCar No.Laps LedPoints
1Colton Herta269754
2Josef Newgarden2-40
3Simon Pagenaud22136
4Jack Harvey60-32
5Scott Dixon9-30

Post-Race

Box ScoreView PDF
Event SummaryView PDF
Lap ChartView PDF
Leader Lap SummaryView PDF
Pit Stop SummaryView PDF
Top Section TimesView PDF
Section ResultsView PDF

Preview

The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season debuted last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park and delivered a spirited race with a first-lap pileup in Turn 5 and a surprising yet not entirely unexpected winner in second-year driver Alex Palou, who switched from Dale Coyne Racing to Chip Ganassi Racing in the offseason. With one series victory under his belt and a six-time champion as a teammate, Palou could be poised for a strong season but with 16 races to go, much racing remains before awarding the Astor Cup.

Facing 24 drivers this weekend is the 14-turn, 1.8-mile street circuit that runs through downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, including a runway of Albert Whitted Airport. With 150 seconds of push-to-pass on tap and 10 sets of tires available per entry, teams will get to work starting with Friday afternoon’s Practice 1 and Saturday’s Practice 2 and knockout qualifying ahead of Sunday’s 100-lap race.

Like Round 1 in Alabama, the series’ only visit to Florida will feature an intriguing mix of veterans and young up-and-comers, including three rookies: Formula One veteran Romain Grosjean, seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and three-time Australian Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin.

With frequent title contenders Will Power and Scott Dixon off to a good start based on podium finishes at Barber, Josef Newgarden will have to make up for a season-opening DNF to insert himself into a championship fight that’s just getting started.

Use the tabs or menu above to view session results, schedule, entrant facts, weather forecast, track facts and history.

Sessions

Results

Race

RankDriverCar No.StartLapsTotal TimeLaps LedStatusPointsAvg. SpeedPit Stops
1Colton Herta26110001:51:51.411597Running5496.5522
2Josef Newgarden2310001:51:53.9048-Running4096.5162
3Simon Pagenaud22410001:51:57.56111Running3696.4642
4Jack Harvey60210001:51:59.4948-Running3296.4362
5Scott Dixon9810001:52:00.3612-Running3096.4232
6Takuma Sato301510001:52:03.0917-Running2896.3842
7Marcus Ericsson81610001:52:03.3508-Running2696.3812
8Will Power122010001:52:04.6478-Running2496.3623
9Rinus VeeKay21710001:52:05.1309-Running2296.3552
10Sebastien Bourdais14510001:52:07.4066-Running2096.3222
11Scott McLaughlin31410001:52:09.0041-Running1996.3003
12Felix Rosenqvist71710001:52:09.9753-Running1896.2863
13Romain Grosjean511810001:52:14.1391-Running1796.2263
14Ryan Hunter-Reay281310001:52:15.5390-Running1696.2063
15Graham Rahal15910001:52:16.2043-Running1596.1973
16Conor Daly201910001:52:39.5718-Running1495.8645
17Alex Palou10109901:51:51.25102Running1495.5892
18James Hinchcliffe29129901:52:18.6670-Running1295.2003
19Pato O'Ward569901:52:22.7156-Running1195.1433
20Ed Jones18219901:52:38.3952-Running1094.9225
21Alexander Rossi27119801:52:19.0596-Running994.2333
22Jimmie Johnson48239501:52:43.6648-Running891.0163
23Dalton Kellett4246701:13:54.6967-Off Course797.9012
24Max Chilton59221800:25:26.7048-Mechanical676.4001
— Race: Results (PDF) | Back to the session list

Session Notes:

  • Just prior to the start of the race, the ambient temperature was 84 degrees with 72% relative humidity under mostly cloudy skies. The track temperature was 112 degrees according to Firestone engineers.
  • Pole sitter Colton Herta held the lead on the initial start through Turn 1 and ended up leading a total of 97 laps en route to his fourth career NTT IndyCar Series victory.
  • Herta's win was the first on the streets of St. Petersburg. His four series victories tie his father Bryan Herta, who also had four wins in Indy car competition.
  • The effort marked the 66th victory for Andretti Autosport. The team had two previous wins at St. Petersburg: Dan Wheldon in 2005 and James Hinchcliffe in 2013.
  • Josef Newgarden's second place finish marked his third consecutive podium result at St. Petersburg. He won the race in 2019 and 2020.
  • Simon Pagenaud's third-place result was his third podium finish at St. Petersburg.
  • The race was slowed by three cautions:
    • On Lap 15, Jimmie Johnson went off course at Turn 13. While the No. 48 Honda was still running, Johnson was unable to extricate it from the tire barrier prompting INDYCAR to throw a yellow flag on Lap 17.
    • Johnson again caused a yellow-flag condition when he spun in Turn 3, but the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion was able to continue without assistance from the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team.
    • The race's third and final full-course caution came on Lap 80 when Ed Jones' No. 18 Honda stopped on course after contact with both James Hinchcliffe and Pato O'Ward.
  • Passing was up in 2021 versus 2020, with 166 overall passes this year and 145 last year. However, passing for position was less: 97 in 2021 vs. 123 in 2020.

Warm-Up

RankDriverCar No.Best TimeOn LapBest SpeedTotal LapsDifferenceGap
1Colton Herta2601:00.663219106.81923--.------.----
2Takuma Sato3001:00.676818106.795240.01360.0136
3Scott Dixon901:00.809215106.563250.14600.1324
4Scott McLaughlin301:00.872023106.453260.20880.0628
5Rinus VeeKay2101:00.941419106.332250.27820.0694
6Alex Palou1001:01.01699106.200200.35370.0755
7Josef Newgarden201:01.043922106.153260.38070.0270
8Ed Jones1801:01.100820106.054210.43760.0569
9Graham Rahal1501:01.130220106.003250.46700.0294
10Alexander Rossi2701:01.220811105.846210.55760.0906
11Jack Harvey6001:01.331315105.656190.66810.1105
12Felix Rosenqvist701:01.354311105.616180.69110.0230
13Simon Pagenaud2201:01.385621105.562240.72240.0313
14Will Power1201:01.39729105.542260.73400.0116
15Ryan Hunter-Reay2801:01.412216105.516210.74900.0150
16Pato O'Ward501:01.519120105.333210.85590.1069
17Marcus Ericsson801:01.618718105.163260.95550.0996
18James Hinchcliffe2901:01.756421104.928241.09320.1377
19Conor Daly2001:01.829511104.804201.16630.0731
20Max Chilton5901:01.867417104.740221.20420.0379
21Romain Grosjean5101:01.972118104.563201.30890.1047
22Sebastien Bourdais1401:01.978610104.552251.31540.0065
23Dalton Kellett401:02.114814104.323201.45160.1362
24Jimmie Johnson4801:02.662222103.412251.99900.5474
— Warm-up: Results | Back to the session list

Session Notes:

  • At the start of morning warm-up, the ambient temperature was 78 degrees with 89% relative humidity under cloudy skies. The track temperature was 87 degrees according to Firestone engineers.
  • The 30-minute session ran without significant incident. While drivers did find various runoffs throughout the 1.8-mile circuit, they were either able to extricate themselves or the AMR INDYCAR Safety team effected a restart without necessitating a red-flag condition.
  • At the conclusion of the session, 2021 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg pole winner Colton Herta was fastest overall with a 1:00.6632.

Qualifying

Firestone Fast Six
RankDriverCar No.Best TimeBest SpeedBest LapTotal LapsDifferenceGap
1Colton Herta2601:00.3210107.42544--.------.----
2Jack Harvey6001:00.5709106.982230.24990.2499
3Josef Newgarden201:00.6078106.917330.28680.0369
4Simon Pagenaud2201:00.6353106.868440.31430.0275
5Sebastien Bourdais1401:01.0017106.227440.68070.3664
6Pato O'Ward501:01.0799106.091550.75890.0782
— Firestone Fast Six: Results (PDF) | Overall Results (PDF) | Back to session list

Session Notes

  • Like Round 2, the six-minute Firestone Fast Six proceeded without incident.
  • Colton Herta’s 1:00.3210 proved the fastest lap of the session, earning the Andretti Autosport driver his first pole of 2021 and the fifth of his NTT IndyCar Series career. His last pole was at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in September 2020, and his previous best start at St. Petersburg was third in October 2020.
  • The effort by Herta marked Andretti’s 44th pole position in Indy car competition and its fourth at St. Petersburg. The team’s previous pole winners at the track were Bryan Herta in 2005, Dario Franchitti in 2006 and Tony Kanaan in 2008.
  • The front row starters — Herta and Jack Harvey — could be considered an all-Andretti front row as Harvey’s No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing Honda receives technical support from Andretti Technologies.
  • Will Power’s absence from the Firestone Fast Six marked the first time he failed to compete for pole at St. Petersburg in his Indy car career. The last time he failed to advance out of Round 1 qualifying was at Toronto in 2019.

Round 2
RankDriverCar No.Best TimeBest SpeedBest LapTotal LapsDifferenceGap
1Colton Herta2601:00.2207107.60477--.------.----
2Josef Newgarden201:00.3428107.386880.12210.1221
3Sebastien Bourdais1401:00.3573107.361880.13660.0145
4Pato O'Ward501:00.3999107.285880.17920.0426
5Jack Harvey6001:00.4262107.238770.20550.0263
6Simon Pagenaud2201:00.4385107.216880.21780.0123
7Rinus VeeKay2101:00.4858107.133780.26510.0473
8Scott Dixon901:00.4997107.108880.27900.0139
9Graham Rahal1501:00.5678106.988880.34710.0681
10Alex Palou1001:00.6220106.892880.40130.0542
11Alexander Rossi2701:00.6476106.847670.42690.0256
12James Hinchcliffe2901:00.8671106.461880.64640.2195
— Round 2: Results (PDF) | Back to session list

Session Notes

  • Round 2 ran without incident throughout its 10-minute duration.
  • Advancing to the Firestone Fast Six were Colton Herta, Josef Newgarden, Sebastien Bourdais, Pato O’Ward, Jack Harvey and Simon Pagenaud.
  • The remaining drivers will start in positions seven through 12.

Round 1 Group 2
RankDriverCar No.Best TimeBest SpeedBest LapTotal LapsDifferenceGap
1Josef Newgarden201:00.4437107.20778--.------.----
2Graham Rahal1501:00.4825107.138880.03880.0388
3Jack Harvey6001:00.5028107.102780.05910.0203
4Rinus VeeKay2101:00.5414107.034880.09770.0386
5James Hinchcliffe2901:00.6368106.866770.19310.0954
6Alex Palou1001:00.6521106.839880.20840.0153
7Scott McLaughlin301:00.7044106.747880.26070.0523
8Marcus Ericsson801:00.7058106.744880.26210.0014
9Romain Grosjean5101:00.8127106.557880.36900.1069
10Will Power1201:01.1140106.031780.67030.3013
11Max Chilton5901:01.5065105.355571.06280.3925
12Dalton Kellett401:02.3396103.947671.89590.8331
— Round 1 Group 2: Results (PDF) | Back to session list

Session Notes

  • Dalton Kellett was penalized his two fastest laps and the ability to advance when he was charged with qualifying interference in an incident involving Rinus VeeKay.
  • Near the end of the session, Will Power spun which drew the attention of Race Control but no action was taken.
  • Josef Newgarden, Graham Rahal, Jack Harvey, VeeKay, James Hinchcliffe and Alex Palou advanced to Round 2.
  • The remaining drivers in positions seven through 12 will start in the even-numbered positions from 14 to 24.

Round 1 Group 1
RankDriverCar No.Best TimeBest SpeedBest LapTotal LapsDifferenceGap
1Alexander Rossi2701:00.2949107.47277--.------.----
2Colton Herta2601:00.3659107.345770.07100.0710
3Pato O'Ward501:00.6026106.926780.30770.2367
4Simon Pagenaud2201:00.6375106.865780.34260.0349
5Sebastien Bourdais1401:00.7182106.723780.42330.0807
6Scott Dixon901:00.7921106.593780.49720.0739
7Ryan Hunter-Reay2801:00.8524106.487880.55750.0603
8Takuma Sato3001:00.9167106.375780.62180.0643
9Felix Rosenqvist701:00.9569106.305770.66200.0402
10Conor Daly2001:01.4220105.500881.12710.4651
11Ed Jones1801:01.4453105.460881.15040.0233
12Jimmie Johnson4801:01.8364104.793781.54150.3911
— Round 1 Group 1: Results (PDF) | Back to session list

Session Notes

  • The start of qualifying was delayed by five minutes due to necessary track repairs for damage sustained during the previous on-track session.
  • Scott Dixon caused a local yellow that impacted another competitor when he found himself in a run-off area, earning a penalty that stripped him of his fastest lap. Dixon still managed to advance to Round 2 with the sixth-fastest lap of Group 1.
  • Along with Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward, Simon Pagenaud and Sebastien Bourdais also advanced to Round 2.
  • The remaining drivers in positions seven through 12 will start in the odd-numbered positions from 13 to 23.

Practice 2

RankDriverCar No.Best TimeOn LapBest SpeedTotal LapsDifferenceGap
1Josef Newgarden201:00.062219107.88823--.------.----
2Alexander Rossi2701:00.174919107.686230.11270.1127
3Jack Harvey6001:00.219217107.607210.15700.0443
4Colton Herta2601:00.221620107.603260.15940.0024
5Marcus Ericsson801:00.221923107.602270.15970.0003
6Simon Pagenaud2201:00.273523107.510280.21130.0516
7Scott McLaughlin301:00.300324107.462280.23810.0268
8Scott Dixon901:00.326225107.416290.26400.0259
9Romain Grosjean5101:00.419824107.250240.35760.0936
10Pato O'Ward501:00.479721107.143250.41750.0599
11Alex Palou1001:00.507623107.094290.44540.0279
12Felix Rosenqvist701:00.629111106.879210.56690.1215
13Will Power1201:00.648919106.844240.58670.0198
14Conor Daly2001:00.699820106.755250.63760.0509
15James Hinchcliffe2901:00.701919106.751210.63970.0021
16Sebastien Bourdais1401:00.707425106.742270.64520.0055
17Rinus VeeKay2101:00.709824106.737270.64760.0024
18Ryan Hunter-Reay2801:00.716019106.726250.65380.0062
19Graham Rahal1501:00.730426106.701280.66820.0144
20Takuma Sato3001:00.890824106.420300.82860.1604
21Dalton Kellett401:01.276615105.750191.21440.3858
22Ed Jones1801:01.67167105.073241.60940.3950
23Max Chilton5901:01.715721104.998231.65350.0441
24Jimmie Johnson4801:02.359823103.913262.29760.6441
— Practice 2: Results | Back to the session list

Session Notes:

  • Unlike Friday's Practice 1, Practice 2's 45 minutes ran without incident. While drivers including Simon Pagenaud and Felix Rosenqvist found run-off areas, both were able to get out without needing assistance form the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team.
  • At the start of the session, the ambient temperature was 77 degrees under cloudy skies. The track temperature was 86 degrees according to Firestone engineers.
  • While not an in-session issue, Dalton Kellett was penalized 10 minutes of practice time for being late to driver weigh-in prior to the start of practice.
  • At the checkered flag, Josef Newgarden's 1:00.0622 came closest to toppling Jordan King's established qualifying track record, a 1:00.0476 set in 2018.

Practice 1

RankDriverCar No.Best TimeOn LapBest SpeedTotal LapsDifferenceGap
1Josef Newgarden201:00.802914106.57419--.------.----
2Will Power1201:00.81029106.561160.00730.0073
3Colton Herta2601:00.83487106.518170.03190.0246
4Alexander Rossi2701:00.86535106.465180.06240.0305
5Simon Pagenaud2201:00.899214106.405170.09630.0339
6Scott Dixon901:00.915211106.377160.11230.0160
7Felix Rosenqvist701:00.99569106.237140.19270.0804
8Scott McLaughlin301:01.015819106.202200.21290.0202
9Pato O'Ward501:01.06037106.125140.25740.0445
10Graham Rahal1501:01.091216106.071190.28830.0309
11Marcus Ericsson801:01.11707106.026150.31410.0258
12Rinus VeeKay2101:01.17509105.926160.37210.0580
13Ryan Hunter-Reay2801:01.19467105.892150.39170.0196
14Sebastien Bourdais1401:01.269313105.763160.46640.0747
15Jack Harvey6001:01.29867105.712160.49570.0293
16Conor Daly2001:01.361211105.604170.55830.0626
17James Hinchcliffe2901:01.40239105.534180.59940.0411
18Takuma Sato3001:01.460111105.434190.65720.0578
19Romain Grosjean5101:01.605024105.186260.80210.1449
20Alex Palou1001:01.739311104.957190.93640.1343
21Ed Jones1801:02.15309104.259121.35010.4137
22Max Chilton5901:02.276810104.052141.47390.1238
23Dalton Kellett401:02.926913102.977202.12400.6501
24Jimmie Johnson4801:03.131721102.643262.32880.2048
— Practice 1: Results | Back to the session list

Session Notes:

  • Timing and scoring issues prompted a nine-minute red flag and the absence of publicly available data on the INDYCAR website throughout session.
  • Due due the technical difficulties, the session was extended nine minutes to account for the technical difficulties.
  • At the time of the session's restart, the ambient temperature was 82 degrees and the track temperature was 121 degrees according to Firestone engineers.
  • Two minutes prior to the revised Practice 1 end time, Sebastien Bourdais caused a red flag when his No. 14 Chevrolet stopped in the Turn 10 runoff.
  • Green-flag practice resumed for one final minute prior to the checkered flag being displayed.

Green Flag12:42 p.m. EDT *
Drivers Start Your Engines12:35 p.m.
Race BroadcastNoon EDT on NBC
Qualifying1:45 p.m. Saturday on Peacock Premium
Qualifying Broadcast10 p.m. EDT Saturday on NBCSN (tape delayed)
Practice Sessions4:15–5 p.m. Friday
9:45–10 a.m. Saturday
9:05–9:35 a.m. Sunday (warm-up)
Full Weekend ScheduleView PDF
Live Timing and ScoringINDYCAR Race Control and INDYCAR Mobile app (iOS, Android).
Radio BroadcastINDYCAR Radio Network, Sirius 211, XM 205, IndyCar.com and on the INDYCAR Mobile app (iOS, Android).
Video StreamingAll NTT IndyCar Series practice sessions and qualifying will stream live on Peacock Premium, NBC’s direct-to-consumer livestreaming product.
* All times are in Eastern Daylight Time. View the green-flag time in all time zones.

Starting LineupView Table
Qualifications GroupsView PDF
Entry ListView Table
Spotter GuideView
Pit AssignmentsView PDF
Push-to-Pass Parameters150 seconds of total time with a maximum single duration of 15 seconds. The push-to-pass is not available on the initial start or any restart unless it occurs in the final two laps or three minutes of a timed race.
Tires Available per EntrySix sets primary, four sets alternate. One additional set is available to rookie drivers for use in the Friday afternoon practice session.

Starting Lineup

SPCar No.DriverEngineTire
126Colton HertaHondaAlternate
260Jack HarveyHondaAlternate
32Josef NewgardenChevroletPrimary
422Simon PagenaudChevroletPrimary
514Sebastien BourdaisChevroletAlternate
65Pato O'WardChevroletPrimary
721Rinus VeeKayChevroletAlternate
89Scott DixonHondaAlternate
915Graham RahalHondaPrimary
1010Alex PalouHondaPrimary
1127Alexander RossiHondaPrimary
1229James HinchcliffeHondaPrimary
1328Ryan Hunter-ReayHondaAlternate
143Scott McLaughlin (R)ChevroletPrimary
1530Takuma SatoHondaPrimary
168Marcus EricssonHondaPrimary
177Felix RosenqvistChevroletPrimary
1851Romain Grosjean (R)HondaAlternate
1920Conor DalyChevroletAlternate
2012Will PowerChevroletPrimary
2118Ed JonesHondaAlternate
2259Max ChiltonChevroletAlternate
2348Jimmie Johnson (R)HondaPrimary
244Dalton KellettChevroletAlternate
(R) Rookie
— Starting Lineup: PDF

Entry List

Car No.DriverHometownSponsorTeamEngine
2Josef NewgardenNashville, Tennessee, USAHitachiTeam PenskeChevrolet
3Scott McLaughlin (R)Christchurch, New ZealandDEX ImagingTeam PenskeChevrolet
4Dalton KellettStouffville, CanadaK-Line InsulatorsAJ Foyt RacingChevrolet
5Pato O'WardMonterrey, MexicoArrow McLaren SPArrow McLaren SPChevrolet
7Felix RosenqvistVärnamo, SwedenArrow McLaren SPArrow McLaren SPChevrolet
8Marcus EricssonKumla, SwedenHuski ChocolateChip Ganassi RacingHonda
9Scott DixonAuckland, New ZealandPNC BankChip Ganassi RacingHonda
10Alex PalouBarcelona, SpainNTT DataChip Ganassi RacingHonda
12Will PowerToowoomba, AustraliaVerizon 5GTeam PenskeChevrolet
14Sebastien BourdaisLe Mans, FranceROKiTAJ Foyt RacingChevrolet
15Graham RahalNew Albany, Ohio, USAUnited RentalsRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda
18Ed JonesDubai, United Arab EmiratesSealMasterDale Coyne Racing with Vasser SullivanHonda
20Conor DalyNoblesville, Indiana, USAU.S. Air ForceEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet
21Rinus VeeKayHoofddorp, NetherlandsSonax / AutogeekEd Carpenter RacingChevrolet
22Simon PagenaudMontmorillon, FranceMenards / Australian GoldTeam PenskeChevrolet
26Colton HertaValencia, California, USAGainbridgeAndretti AutosportHonda
27Alexander RossiNevada City, California, USANAPA Auto Parts / AutoNationAndretti AutosportHonda
28Ryan Hunter-ReayFort Lauderdale, Florida, USADHLAndretti AutosportHonda
29James HinchcliffeToronto, CanadaGenesysAndretti AutosportHonda
30Takuma SatoTokyo, JapanPanasonic / Shield CleansersRahal Letterman Lanigan RacingHonda
48Jimmie Johnson (R)El Cajon, California, USACarvanaChip Ganassi RacingHonda
51Romain Grosjean (R)Geneva, SwitzerlandNurtec ODTDale Coyne Racing with RWRHonda
59Max ChiltonReigate, EnglandCarlinCarlinChevrolet
60Jack HarveyBassingham, EnglandAutoNation / SiriusXMMeyer Shank RacingHonda
(R) — Denotes NTT IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year candidate
— Entry List: PDF

ST. PETERSBURG WEATHER

Track TypeTemporary street circuit
Length1.8 miles
Race Distance100 laps (180 miles)
Number of Turns14
DirectionClockwise
Track Map
2021 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg track map
Credit: INDYCAR
Event Twitter Account & Hashtag@GPSTPETE, #FirestoneGP

Past Driver Performance IndexView PDF
Last Five Wins— 2020: Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
— 2019: Josef Newgarden, Team Penske
— 2018: Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing
— 2017: Sebastien Bourdais, Dale Coyne Racing
— 2016: Juan Pablo Montoya, Team Penske
Last Five Poles— 2020: Will Power, Team Penske (1:01.0369)
— 2019: Will Power, Team Penske (1:00.4594)
— 2018: Robert Wickens, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (1:01.6643)
— 2017: Will Power, Team Penske (1:01.0640)
— 2016: Will Power, Team Penske (1:00.2450)
Qualifying Lap Record1:00.0476 (Jordan King of Ed Carpenter Racing on March 10, 2018)

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