Fellow Andretti driver Kyle Kirkwood started the final qualifying session at a disadvantage as he used two sets of new replacement Firestones to get out of Q1, so there was no new replacement in the final segment.
But the problem seemed minor when he slid straight into the final turn, missed the tire barrier and hit the concrete hard.
As action resumed, Penske’s Scott McLaughlin smashed his right-rear Trink at the turn 10 wall, entering the pirouette through the chicane, causing another red flag.
Despite having the same problem with Kirkwood of not having a new replacement, Marcus Ericsson briefly took the lead when the sessions began in earnest, but was soon replaced by Pato O’Ward. He was overtaken by Colton Herta of Arrow McLaren and Andretti Autosport.
Grosjean nevertheless delivered a spectacular final sector, beating Hertha’s benchmark by 0.4155s and taking the first pole position in Andretti’s car.
O’Ward was just 0.0476 seconds behind Herta and 0.42 seconds ahead of Ericsson.
Patricio O’Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet
Photo credit: Jake Galstad / motorsport images
Earlier, Alexander Rossi led the second quarter after everyone ran first, with McLaughlin second, 0.28 seconds behind, trailed by Scott Dixon, Will Power and Hertha.
All then stooped for a fresh alternative ‘green’, with Felix Rosenqvist firing another sub-minute shot and Kirkwood being overshadowed.
However, Chip Ganassi racers Alex Palou and Dixon were disappointed as they were scheduled to start 7th and 9th.
Rosenqvist and Rossi were 8th and 12thth Nine polesitters at Arrow McLaren and then St Pete, Power finished just 10th, just ahead of RLL’s Christian Lundgaard.
Two-time St Pete winner Joseph Newgarden was one of the early casualties in Q1. He wasn’t able to enjoy a really clean lap, which meant he started 14th. Meanwhile, Ed’s carpenter, Linusby Kei, inadvertently gets stuck in a Palou flyer.
Argentinian touring car ace Agustín Canapino passed an open-wheel qualifying session for the first time in the Group 1 segment, finishing within 1.2 seconds of Rosenqvist’s benchmark and lining up for 21st place. .
https://www.autosport.com/indycar/news/st-pete-indycar-grosjean-grabs-pole-in-crash-filled-qualifying/10439809/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-ALL&utm_term=News&utm_content=uk Grosjean takes pole in crash-ridden qualifying