Power gets by Sato, cruises to win at St. Pete

Power gets by Sato, cruises to win at St. Pete

30 March 2014 – Will Power was denied a fifth straight pole position at this weekend's Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, but he could not be denied the victory, winning the 110-lap event ahead of Ryan Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves.

Power took the lead on Lap 31 after slowly reeling in polesitter Takuma Sato, who led all of the first 30 laps. After Sato's pit-stop, Power dove to the inside heading into Turn 1, going wheel-to-wheel with the Japanese driver before pulling in front. Immediately the Aussie built up a ten second lead and never looked back, winning by two seconds.

The 22nd win of Power's IndyCar career was not without incident, though. The race remained caution free for the first 74 laps until Charlie Kimball understeered through Turn 1 and stalled his car next to the tyre wall. After an extended yellow period, the pace car left the track, but Power did not accelerate on the frontstretch. The rest of the field streamed around the final corner at racing speed only to accordion into one another behind the slowing Power. Jack Hawksworth, taking evasive action, made contact and lost control, collecting Marco Andretti before hitting the inside wall. Hawksworth was fine, but Andretti left his car with a slight limp and a sore wrist.

Power later explained that the green flag had been shown before the designated acceleration zone, meaning he was not allowed to speed up yet. The explanation was little consolation for the rookie Hawksworth, especially, who had been running a clean race in the middle of the pack.

In the bulk of the green flag stretch before the first caution, it looked as though pole-sitter Sato would run away from the field. He was unchallenged at the start and was consistently holding a few seconds' gap until the first round of pit-stops. Switching to the harder black tyres, he emerged from the pits 0.4 seconds in front of Power's Penske machine, which was also clad in blacks.

Castroneves started the race in tenth but soon worked his way into third – a benefactor of a good start and quick pit work by his Penske Racing crew. After the first round of stops he began to pester Sato for second place, but he would have to make his move later in the pit lane, servicing his car off-strategy to Sato's A.J. Foyt crew. During this time, Sato regained the lead but continued to drop after each successive pit stop. He would finish P7.

In the meantime, late-race pushes by Hunter-Reay and Simon Pagenaud set them up for second- and fifth-place finishes, respectively. Helio nearly collided with Power in pit lane in the final round of stops but eventually settled for P3 ahead of defending IndyCar champion Scott Dixon. The man who started second, Tony Kanaan, wrestled with fuel mixture issues throughout the race and finished P6.

Many eyes were on the four rookies in the field for today's race, and they certainly didn't disappoint. Hawksworth's day was cut short in the aforementioned restart incident, but he had been running in the top ten at one point (he would end up classified P21, only ahead of Andretti). Mikhail Aleshin became the top-finishing rookie in P12, whereas Carlos Munoz and Carlos Huertas finished in P17 and P18.

Juan Pablo Montoya, in his first IndyCar race since his time in Formula 1 and NASCAR, had a relatively safe day, staying out of trouble and finishing 41 seconds behind Power in P15. Defending race winner James Hinchcliffe suffered electronic problems the whole day and finished as the last running car.

The IndyCar season continues in two weeks for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach where Power (a two-time winner) and Penske will look to continue their strong start.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Saturday 29 August 2015

  2. GPUpdate's stars of the future: Esteban Ocon 08:20

    GPUpdate's stars of the future: Esteban Ocon

    Across 2015, GPUpdate.net has been profiling some of the most talented up-and-coming youngsters gracing the various junior…

    GP3
  3. Maldonado caused own DNF with 17G impact 07:46

    Maldonado caused own DNF with 17G impact

    Pastor Maldonado caused his own retirement from last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps with a sizeable 17G…

    F1
  4. Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Engine 05:14

    Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Engine

    McLaren showcases how many strokes per second are produced by Honda's engine.

    F1
  5. Friday 28 August 2015

  6. 17:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  7. Grosjean sure he would have passed Vettel 16:08

    Grosjean sure he would have passed Vettel

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean says he is "convinced" that he would have passed Sebastian Vettel for third at the Belgian Grand…

    F1
  8. 15:12

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  9. Lorenzo edges Márquez in second practice 15:03

    Lorenzo edges Márquez in second practice

    Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo edged out Repsol Honda rival Marc Márquez during second practice for the British Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  10. Bottas 'expected more' from 2015 car 14:01

    Bottas 'expected more' from 2015 car

    Valtteri Bottas has admitted that he "expected more" from the Williams FW37 this season, but he is hopeful that progress will be…

    F1
  11. GPUpdate lets readers ask Hülkenberg questions 12:02

    GPUpdate lets readers ask Hülkenberg questions

    Earlier in the season, GPUpdate.net gave readers the chance to quiz Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Lotus driver Romain…

    F1
  12. Márquez tops first practice at Silverstone 10:50

    Márquez tops first practice at Silverstone

    Repsol Honda's Marc Márquez topped the times during Friday morning's opening practice session for the British Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  13. Video: IndyCars cross Golden Gate Bridge 09:36

    Video: IndyCars cross Golden Gate Bridge

    Ahead of this weekend's IndyCar season finale at Sonoma, drivers completed a demonstration run across San Francisco's Golden…

    Indy
  14. Preview: Chasing Montoya, honouring Wilson 09:22

    Preview: Chasing Montoya, honouring Wilson

    As the IndyCar circus arrives in California for the resolution of a tense and complex championship battle, the sport also finds…

    Indy
  15. Servià to drive Wilson's car at Sonoma 07:38

    Servià to drive Wilson's car at Sonoma

    Oriol Servià will drive Justin Wilson's Andretti car at this weekend's IndyCar finale at Sonoma in tribute to the Briton, who…

    Indy
  16. Video of the Day: Sound of a radio message 05:23

    Video of the Day: Sound of a radio message

    Mercedes partner BOSE covers radio tranmissions in the latest part of its 'Sounds of Formula 1' series.

    F1
  17. Thursday 27 August 2015

  18. Alonso expects 'completely different' second half 17:59

    Alonso expects 'completely different' second half

    Fernando Alonso is predicting a "completely different" performance from McLaren-Honda over the second half of the season, as the…

    F1
  19. Red Bull set to take Monza engine drops 15:12

    Red Bull set to take Monza engine drops

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat are likely to take grid penalties at the Italian…

    F1
  20. Frijns hoping for Andretti Formula E seat 14:24

    Frijns hoping for Andretti Formula E seat

    Robin Frijns has set his sights on securing the vacant race seat at Andretti for the upcoming Formula E campaign, but says…

    FE
  21. Video: IndyCar drivers preview Sonoma finale 13:02

    Video: IndyCar drivers preview Sonoma finale

    IndyCar drivers preview this weekend's season finale at Sonoma, which takes place under a cloud following Justin Wilson's death.…

    Indy
  22. Mallya confident of keeping Hülkenberg 10:42

    Mallya confident of keeping Hülkenberg

    Force India team boss Vijay Mallya says he is "quite confident" of retaining Nico Hülkenberg's services for the 2016 season…

    F1
  23. Chilton reveals Haas F1 discussions 09:37

    Chilton reveals Haas F1 discussions

    Former Marussia racer Max Chilton has revealed that he has held discussions with the arriving Haas F1 Team over a potential…

    F1
  24. Kvyat to demo Formula 1 car in Russia 08:22

    Kvyat to demo Formula 1 car in Russia

    Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat will showcase Formula 1 machinery in his native Russia on Sunday. Kvyat is set to get behind the…

    F1
  25. Video of the Day: Hamilton's summer holiday 05:06

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's summer holiday

    Take a look at what Lewis Hamilton got up to during his summer break away from Formula 1.

    F1
  26. Wednesday 26 August 2015

  27. Crutchlow pens new two-year LCR deal 14:35

    Crutchlow pens new two-year LCR deal

    British rider Cal Crutchlow has secured his MotoGP future until the end of 2017 after signing a new two-year deal to remain with…

    MotoGP
  28. Lorenzo sees 'great opportunity' at Silverstone 13:28

    Lorenzo sees 'great opportunity' at Silverstone

    Jorge Lorenzo says he sees a "great opportunity" for himself and Yamaha at this weekend's British Grand Prix, as he looks to…

    MotoGP
  29. Video: Repsol Honda's British GP preview 12:36

    Video: Repsol Honda's British GP preview

    Repsol Honda looks ahead to this weekend's British MotoGP Grand Prix at the Silverstone circuit.

    MotoGP
  30. Chilton: Closed cockpits in five to 10 years 11:43

    Chilton: Closed cockpits in five to 10 years

    Former Marussia driver Max Chilton is certain that Formula 1 will adopt closed cockpits in the future, and expects the switch to…

    F1
  31. Feature: Belgian GP's key questions 11:21

    Feature: Belgian GP's key questions

    Ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix at the historic Spa-Francorchamps, GPUpdate.net posed five questions and pondered the outcomes.…

    F1
  32. Vettel defends Ferrari's Belgian GP strategy 09:46

    Vettel defends Ferrari's Belgian GP strategy

    Sebastian Vettel has spoken out in defence of Ferrari's strategy at the Belgian Grand Prix, insisting that the decision to…

    F1
  33. Mark Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Belgium 07:27

    Mark Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Belgium

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net's race-by-race series, Story Behind the Shot, continues throughout…

    F1
  34. Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Downforce 05:23

    Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Downforce

    McLaren highlights how much downforce is generated by a modern Formula 1 car.

    F1
  35. Tuesday 25 August 2015

  36. 18:18

    Photos: FE pre-season testing – Day 6

    FE
  37. Prost heads e.Dams 1-2 on final test day 18:11

    Prost heads e.Dams 1-2 on final test day

    Nicolas Prost edged out team-mate Sébastien Buemi in a Renault e.Dams 1-2 on the final day of pre-season testing at Donington…

    FE
  38. 16:20

    Photo gallery: Justin Wilson (1978-2015)

    Indy
  39. Toro Rosso remembers 'true racer' Wilson 15:07

    Toro Rosso remembers 'true racer' Wilson

    Toro Rosso has paid tribute to Justin Wilson, who raced for the team in Formula 1 under its previous guise of Minardi, after…

    F1
  40. Smith extends Tech 3 deal through 2016 14:16

    Smith extends Tech 3 deal through 2016

    Bradley Smith has extended his contract with Tech 3 Yamaha through 2016. Smith made the step up to MotoGP with Tech 3 after…

    MotoGP
  41. Ferrari doesn't want 'fight' with Pirelli 13:19

    Ferrari doesn't want 'fight' with Pirelli

    Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene says the outfit does not want to get involved in a "fight" with Formula 1 tyre supplier…

    F1
  42. Horner on Renault: 'Business as usual' 12:43

    Horner on Renault: 'Business as usual'

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has insisted that it is "business as usual" with engine supplier Renault, amid speculation…

    F1
  43. Video: Wilson triumphs at Texas in 2012 11:47

    Video: Wilson triumphs at Texas in 2012

    Look back at Justin Wilson's triumph at the Texas Motor Speedway in 2012, his last IndyCar victory.

    Indy
  44. Motorsport pays tribute to Justin Wilson 10:38

    Motorsport pays tribute to Justin Wilson

    IndyCar and the wider motorsport community have been paying tribute to Justin Wilson, following the news of his passing on…

    Indy
  45. Remembering Justin Wilson, 1978-2015 08:16

    Remembering Justin Wilson, 1978-2015

    Justin Wilson died aged 37 on Monday evening after succumbing to injuries sustained in last weekend's IndyCar race at Pocono.…

    Indy
more news