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 28 February 2015

  2. Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 3 line-up 06:43

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 3 line-up

    The final pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya continues on Saturday and, to keep you up to date with who...

    F1
  3. FIA wants new cameras for crash investigations 06:28

    FIA wants new cameras for crash investigations

    New high speed cameras could be fitted to Formula 1 cars from 2016 in a bid to improve investigations into...

    F1
  4. Video of the Day: Getting ready for pre-season 05:16

    Video of the Day: Getting ready for pre-season

    Mercedes documents the final push to getting the F1 W06 Hybrid ready for pre-season testing.

    F1
  5. Friday 27 February 2015

  6. 21:02

    Photos: Barcelona pre-season testing – Day 2

    F1
  7. Button: It was like completing 1000 laps 20:14

    Button: It was like completing 1000 laps

    Jenson Button says McLaren's ability to rack up over 100 laps at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday "felt like...

    F1
  8. Bottas impressed by Mercedes test pace 19:13

    Bottas impressed by Mercedes test pace

    Valtteri Bottas says he was impressed by Nico Rosberg's time on the second day of the final pre-season test at the Circuit...

    F1
  9. Hülkenberg: Early VJM08 mileage remarkable 18:18

    Hülkenberg: Early VJM08 mileage remarkable

    Nico Hülkenberg praised his Force India team following the VJM08's reliable start to life at the Circuit de...

    F1
  10. Rosberg still wary of rivals' performance 17:57

    Rosberg still wary of rivals' performance

    Nico Rosberg says Mercedes can take nothing for granted, despite its sizeable advantage on the second day of the final test...

    F1
  11. Magnussen to get McLaren outing on Saturday 17:21

    Magnussen to get McLaren outing on Saturday

    Kevin Magnussen will receive his first taste of the Honda-powered McLaren MP4-30 during pre-season testing at the Circuit de...

    F1
  12. 17:08

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 2 results

    F1
  13. Rosberg fastest as Mercedes surges clear 17:05

    Rosberg fastest as Mercedes surges clear

    Nico Rosberg and Mercedes fired a warning shot to the rest of the Formula 1 field by comfortably setting the pace on the...

    F1
  14. Regalia moves to FR3.5 with Zeta Corse 16:56

    Regalia moves to FR3.5 with Zeta Corse

    Facu Regalia will switch to Formula Renault 3.5 for 2015 after signing a deal to race for Zeta Corse. Regalia finished as...

    FR 3.5
  15. Rossi joins Racing Engineering in GP2 14:17

    Rossi joins Racing Engineering in GP2

    Former Caterham and Marussia reserve driver Alexander Rossi will compete in this year's GP2 championship with Racing...

    GP2
  16. FIA confirms Manor Marussia on entry list 14:07

    FIA confirms Manor Marussia on entry list

    An updated FIA entry list for the upcoming campaign has confirmed the presence of the Manor team on the Formula 1...

    F1
  17. Alonso 'completely fine' after testing crash 13:22

    Alonso 'completely fine' after testing crash

    McLaren's Fernando Alonso says he is "completely fine" and has thanked fans for their support following his crash on the...

    F1
  18. Berthon stays with Lazarus for 2015 13:05

    Berthon stays with Lazarus for 2015

    GP2 race winner Nathanaël Berthon will remain with Lazarus for a fourth campaign in the series this year. Berthon made...

    GP2
  19. Video: Alonso thanks fans for support 12:27

    Video: Alonso thanks fans for support

    Fernando Alonso has thanked fans for their support after his testing crash in Barcelona last week. The Spaniard says he...

    F1
  20. New Force India breaks cover in Barcelona 11:25

    New Force India breaks cover in Barcelona

    Force India's new Formula 1 challenger, the VJM08, made its official track debut at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on...

    F1
  21. Grosjean says lateral impacts a problem 10:16

    Grosjean says lateral impacts a problem

    Romain Grosjean says more needs to be done to improve the safety of drivers involved in lateral impacts, following Fernando...

    F1
  22. 07:50

    Follow Barcelona pre-season testing live!

    F1
  23. Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 2 line-up 06:34

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 2 line-up

    The final pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya continues on Friday and, to keep you up to date with who is...

    F1
  24. Video of the Day: Gutiérrez drives SF15-T 05:12

    Video of the Day: Gutiérrez drives SF15-T

    Ferrari third driver Esteban Gutiérrez reflects on his first run in the SF15-T at a filming day in Barcelona.

    F1
  25. Thursday 26 February 2015

  26. 19:21

    Photos: Barcelona pre-season testing – Day 1

    F1
  27. Massa: Williams still working on downforce 19:14

    Massa: Williams still working on downforce

    Felipe Massa says he is encouraged by Williams' straight line speed but acknowledges that the team still has to work on...

    F1
  28. Ericsson hails Sauber's 'best' test day 18:55

    Ericsson hails Sauber's 'best' test day

    Marcus Ericsson hailed Sauber's best day of the pre-season after he set the second quickest time at the Circuit de...

    F1
  29. Hamilton plays down technical issue 18:42

    Hamilton plays down technical issue

    Lewis Hamilton says he is "ready" for the Australian Grand Prix and played down a problem which stranded his Mercedes W06...

    F1
  30. Sainz Jr. encouraged by Toro Rosso upgrade 18:09

    Sainz Jr. encouraged by Toro Rosso upgrade

    Carlos Sainz Jr. says he is pleased with the upgrade package Toro Rosso has brought to the final pre-season in...

    F1
  31. 17:08

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 1 results

    F1
  32. Massa fastest as final pre-season test begins 17:07

    Massa fastest as final pre-season test begins

    Williams driver Felipe Massa topped the timesheets as the third and final pre-season test got underway on Thursday, clocking...

    F1
  33. Jordá joins Lotus as development driver 14:40

    Jordá joins Lotus as development driver

    Lotus has confirmed that former GP3 backmarker Carmen Jordá has joined the team as a development driver. Jordá spent t...

    F1
  34. McLaren ends test day after seven laps 14:17

    McLaren ends test day after seven laps

    McLaren has ended the first day of the final pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after seven laps amid...

    F1
  35. Dennis confident Alonso will be fit for first race 12:56

    Dennis confident Alonso will be fit for first race

    McLaren boss Ron Dennis is confident that Fernando Alonso will be fit to take part in next month's season-opening Australian...

    F1
  36. Gutiérrez gets first run out for Ferrari 10:37

    Gutiérrez gets first run out for Ferrari

    Esteban Gutiérrez received his first run out for Ferrari during a filming day earlier this week at the Circuit de...

    F1
  37. Manor receives boost from McLaren 10:15

    Manor receives boost from McLaren

    Manor's prospects of competing in Formula 1 in 2015 have been boosted with confirmation that McLaren, which was one of the...

    F1
  38. Hülkenberg to debut new Force India on Friday 09:22

    Hülkenberg to debut new Force India on Friday

    Force India has confirmed that Nico Hülkenberg will debut the squad's 2015 car at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on...

    F1
  39. 07:51

    Follow Barcelona pre-season testing live!

    F1
  40. Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 1 line-up 06:32

    Barcelona pre-season testing: Day 1 line-up

    The opening day of the final pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has arrived and, to keep you up to date...

    F1
  41. Video of the Day: Hill on Australia 1996 05:04

    Video of the Day: Hill on Australia 1996

    Damon Hill talks through the 1996 Australian Grand Prix, the first F1 race at Melbourne's Albert Park.

    F1
  42. Wednesday 25 February 2015

  43. 17:42

    Subscribe for GPUpdate Manager 2015!

    F1
  44. FIA to investigate Alonso's testing accident 17:33

    FIA to investigate Alonso's testing accident

    Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, has confirmed that it will be investigating Fernando Alonso's accident on the final day...

    F1
more news