The Arrow McLaren SP NTT IndyCar Series team endured a tricky start to their season in St Pete on Saturday as Pato O’Ward in the No.5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet will start Sunday’s race from 16th.
Speaking following the action, O’Ward said:
The No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet had the pace to move on, I’m sure of that. We started out in Practice 1 not where we wanted to be but we made some great changes and the car has pace. Note to myself for next time: don’t smash the wall halfway through your lap if you want to transfer. It’s all my mistake, just didn’t quite judge the amount of snap I was going to get and I didn’t want to back out of it. I’ll take the consequences, but tomorrow I think we will have a good race. The car is good and let’s see what we can pull off
Felix Rosenqvist in the No.7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet starts the race from 21st place and speaking following the action he said:
“It was kind of a weird session. The black primary Firestones were a good step forward from practice, and felt we didn’t need any adjustments for the red alternates. We went out and the tires were ready to go straight out of the pit lane. That’s not what we are used to, I expected them to come in on the second or third lap. I just took too much out of the tires on the first lap and couldn’t complete a better lap after that. It was a good lap, but kind of weird how the tire just went away. There’s a lot of lap time left to find, but we will focus on the race. I think we have a pretty good race car, so I’m not too worried. We will push tomorrow.”
Arrow McLaren SP President Taylor Kiel commented saying:
Today was not the qualifying session we wanted by any means. I think there were some negatives and we didn’t execute. First, the red alternate Firestones on the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet caught Felix out and didn’t allow him to extract the pace from the car. With Pato and the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, we received valuable advice from Felix after Group 1 and the pace was certainly there. We didn’t get in position to transfer and ultimately had contact with the wall exiting Turn 9. Unfortunately, we didn’t transfer either car. The positive is both cars are very good, in the window, and have pace. We have a good understanding of the red tires heading into the race and we have an extra set for both cars. There’s for sure room to move forward tomorrow, so now we just need to execute.”