Romain Grosjean was a man with many smiles after leading the 26-car field on Friday for IndyCar’s opening practice session at St. Petersburg.
The same could also be said for his team owner Michael Andretti whose drivers placed first, second, sixth, and 13th as the NTT IndyCar Series got its season under way on the Floridian street circuit.
“I think it’s going to be fun,” Grosjean said after edging Andretti teammate Colton Herta by 0.1042s. “It’s going to be exciting to learn from the other guys and also give some of my knowledge. I joined the team, and you never know what you’re going to get. But the first run in Sebring last week just brought me that feeling that we were going to go have a good baseline, and that’s the case again today. We just need to keep working and make sure that every weekend we’re performing well.”
Grosjean set his best lap early in the 45-minute session, then focused on other chassis setup items as the rest of the field chipped away at a gap that stood at more than 0.3s for quite some time.
“Obviously quite a bit of traffic out there, but nice to put in a lap, and we did a couple of test items to get a read,” he said. “I think we’ve got a very, very strong baseline, but I think there’s a little bit more to come if we put it all together. Hopefully we can find that and have fun for the rest of the weekend.”