Rosenqvist: “IndyCar is the toughest beast yet”

Chip Ganassi Racing rookie Felix Rosenqvist says that the Dallara-Honda he’s been driving this year is the most difficult car he’s needed to master in his astonishingly varied career.

Rosenqvist: “IndyCar is the toughest beast yet”
Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda, podium, champagne
Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet, Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda celebrate on the podium
Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Pole Award Winner Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Despite not turning 28 until November, Rosenqvist has enjoyed a remarkably varied career since winning the Formula Renault Asia title back in 2007.

The Swede has taken on several FRenault championships, Formula Palmer Audi, several Formula 3 championships, Indy Lights, GT championships, DTM, IMSA Prototype Challenge, Formula E, Super Formula, Porsche Carrera Cup and LMP2 WEC cars.

But the 2015 European Formula 3 champion says that learning the intricacies of competing in the NTT IndyCar Series has been the biggest demand yet – and required a revised mental approach.

Rosenqvist, who leads the Rookie of the Year standings by 26 points over Santino Ferrucci (Dale Coyne Racing) and 49 over Colton Herta (Harding Steinbrenner Racing), currently lies eighth overall in the championship ahead of series veterans such as Sebastien Bourdais, Graham Rahal and James Hinchcliffe.

He said: “I think the rookies have definitely made a statement this year! Having raced all over the planet, I would say that IndyCar is the toughest beast yet to master for me.

“I think Colton Herta and I have had similar years where it took off a bit too fast, and then the reality of IndyCar struck us, and a change of approach was needed. I have definitely calmed down during the year, trying to take what's there every weekend instead of forcing myself into errors [by] trying to go for the top spot at any cost.

“I also think that's why I'm the leading rookies right now. The speed has been there from the start, but it's just so much more needed to take the points every weekend. Speed alone will not give you success in this championship.”

Rosenqvist took pole position for the IndyCar Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course, and in qualifying on most road/street courses he’s been impressively close to – or occasionally just ahead of – five-time champion teammate Scott Dixon.

The highlight race results of his season so far were an amazingly close runner-up finish to Dixon at Mid-Ohio, and another second place to Team Penske’s Will Power at Portland.

“I've been on quite a streak on the road courses lately and I feel hungry for that first win,” he said. “Laguna would be just the right place to get it done.

“Being with Chip Ganassi Racing for my rookie season has been more helpful than anything. The team has given me access to everything in order to become ready to win races. I think the field is so tight these days that literally anyone can be fast, but what CGR does differently is getting all the details right, and that's why they normally come out on top!"

shares
comments
Driver line-ups set for early IndyCar aeroscreen tests

Previous article

Driver line-ups set for early IndyCar aeroscreen tests

Next article

How Newgarden can win the IndyCar title, how he can be stopped

How Newgarden can win the IndyCar title, how he can be stopped
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious? Prime

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 25, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Prime

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there? By David Malsher-Lopez.

Formula 1
May 19, 2021