Mathieu WARNIER, Media365, published on Sunday June 13, 2021 at 12:06 am
While Simon Pagenaud and Sébastien Bourdais were not at the party just like Romain Grosjean, who was at fault, Marcus Ericsson won the first race in Detroit, marked by the violent off-track of Felix Rosenqvist.
After May in Indianapolis, back to normal for the IndyCar. Two weeks after Helio Castroneves’ success in the 500 Miles, the North American single-seater championship headed to Detroit for two races in two days and the first was not stingy with incidents before seeing Marcus Ericsson open. his record in the discipline which he joined in 2019 after the end of his contract with Sauber in F1. If the start saw Pato O’Ward keep control of Alexander Rossi for first place, Romain Grosjean moved to third after having had a good qualifying session earlier in the day. The strategic game was set up very early on with drivers who swapped their soft tires for hard ones from the second lap. In this game, Takuma Sato took the lead when Alexander Rossi, further in the hierarchy, played Pato O’Ward.
Grosjean at fault
However, on lap 24, the race had to be neutralized and then interrupted by the red flag three laps later following the violent off-track of Felix Rosenqvist. If the Swedish driver was taken out of his car, it took more than an hour to put the protections back in place. Not helped by a stop shortly before the interruption, Romain Grosjean returned to eighth position when Simon Pagenaud was able to move up to fourth. Le Poitevin missed his recovery and lost two places before giving in again to Pato O’Ward. The drivers then deployed their strategies with a trio made up of Will Power, Marcus Ericsson and Rinus VeeKay who broke away fifteen laps from the finish. The gaps were gradually reduced when six laps from the finish, the red flag was once again out because of Romain Grosjean.
Power unhappy, Ericsson winner
Not very successful throughout the race, the Genevan crushed his car against the wall and caused an interruption in the debates on the track, like the decision taken during the recent Azerbaijani Formula 1 Grand Prix. But, when it was time to leave, it was a twist that took place. Will Power’s car did not want to restart and the Australian lost the benefit of his very good race, giving Marcus Ericsson the first place. The Swede then resisted, taking advantage of the fight between Rinus VeeKay and Pato O’Ward to escape and win. On the French side, Simon Pagenaud could hope for a place in the Top 5 but a last missed restart and contacts in the peloton dropped him to 12th place, just behind Sébastien Bourdais. In the championship, Alex Palou retains the lead despite his 15th place ahead of Pato O’Ward and Scott Dixon. Simon Pagenaud drops to fifth place.
INDYCAR / GRAND PRIX DETROIT
Classification of race 1 (70 laps – 264.737km) – Saturday June 12, 2021
1- Marcus Ericsson (SUE / Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda) in 1h45’33 »1123
2- Rinus VeeKay (PBS / Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet) at 1 »7290
3- Pato O’Ward (MEX / Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet) at 1 »9105
4- Takuma Sato (JAP / Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda) at 8 »1688
5- Graham Rahal (USA / Rahal Letterman Lanigan-Honda) at 9 »4645
11- Sébastien Bourdais (FRA / AJ Foyt Enterprises-Chevrolet) at 13 »5792
12- Simon Pagenaud (FRA / Team Penske-Chevrolet) at 13 »8274
23- Romain Grosjean (FRA / Dale Coyne Racing with RWR-Honda) at 7 laps
Drivers Championship Ranking
1- Alex Palou (ESP / Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda) 263 points
2- Pato O’Ward (MEX / Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet) 248
3- Scott Dixon (NZL / Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda) 237
4- Rinus VeeKay (PBS / Ed Carpenter Racing-Chevrolet) 231
5- Simon Pagenaud (FRA / Team Penske-Chevrolet) 219
15- Sébastien Bourdais (FRA / AJ Foyt Enterprises-Chevrolet) 108
21- Romain Grosjean (FRA / Dale Coyne Racing with RWR-Honda) 89