Sato calls Grosjean 'reckless' after IndyCar practice crash - The Race
IndyCar

Sato calls Grosjean ‘reckless’ after IndyCar practice crash

Feb 26 2022
By Jack Benyon

A big crash between Romain Grosjean and fellow ex-Formula 1 driver Takuma Sato in the second St Petersburg IndyCar practice session could significantly hamper Grosjean’s pole bid.

Grosjean – making his debut for Andretti Autosport this weekend – was fastest in the first practice and an immediate pole favourite in the paddock last night.

However, traffic has been a constant problem on the Florida street circuit and Grosjean was involved in a crash with his Dale Coyne Racing replacement Sato with 17 minutes of Saturday morning practice to go.

Penske’s Will Power was backing up a group of four cars at Turn 10 as they all looked to prepare a lap.

But coming down the flat out straight towards Turn 10, Grosjean failed to spot the traffic jam and couldn’t stop in time.

He smashed into Sato, ending both drivers’ sessions.

Sato spoke to the Peacock TV coverage following the incident.

“It was a shame isn’t it, everyone is trying to make a gap,” Sato said.

“Everyone was slowing down and I had to brake.

“I don’t know what he was thinking, he was reckless. He could clearly see the cars stopped.”

Sato reported not being able to get in gear on the radio so may face gearbox issues as well as rear end damage.

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Grosjean’s issues looked cosmetic, but he has lost the chance to run the soft tyre for the first time this weekend, and that will ultimately be used to set pole later in the day in qualifying.

He also walked away with bruises and had to tape his hands for qualifying.

It was a scrappy second practice session with three red flags as Jack Harvey crashed at Turn 9 earlier on, clipping the inside wall which sent him to the outside wall shortly before the Grosjean/Sato incident.

It was not the ideal way for new Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver Harvey – someone brought in with significant qualifying prowess – to prep for the later session as he too misses out on driving with the soft tyres.

Shortly after the Grosjean/Sato crash and with just under 10 minutes to go, Scott McLaughlin delivered a sparkling sub-record lap of 59.734s for Penske.

Just after that stunning lap, reigning champion Alex Palou crashed into Harvey’s wall at Turn 9.

While Harvey’s crash was side-on at the corner exit, Palou went almost head-on into the Turn 9 wall in a violent impact. He has been released from the care centre, and said he went “too close to the inside wall” in an interview with Peacock.

The session did get back underway with fierce qualifying sims taking place on the softer tyre, but few drivers improved amid debris on their tyres and a messy track following the incidents.

That meant McLaughlin led Colton Herta – who was second in yesterday’s practice too – followed by Meyer Shank’s Simon Pagenaud (having a great weekend on his team debut), Alexander Rossi and Power.

Kyle Kirkwood was the top rookie in the session, eighth for Foyt.

Practice 2 Results

Pos Name Team Car Gap Next Gap Leader Best Time
1 Scott McLaughlin Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet 59.734s
2 Colton Herta Andretti Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Dallara DW12-Honda +0.351s +0.351s 1m0.085s
3 Simon Pagenaud Meyer Shank Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0s +0.351s 1m0.085s
4 Alexander Rossi Andretti Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda +0.022s +0.373s 1m0.107s
5 Will Power Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.053s +0.426s 1m0.16s
6 Rinus VeeKay Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.05s +0.476s 1m0.21s
7 Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.026s +0.502s 1m0.236s
8 Kyle Kirkwood A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.004s +0.506s 1m0.24s
9 Patricio O'Ward Arrow McLaren SP Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.093s +0.599s 1m0.333s
10 Felix Rosenqvist Arrow McLaren SP Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.043s +0.642s 1m0.376s
11 Conor Daly Ed Carpenter Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.006s +0.648s 1m0.382s
12 Hélio Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.004s +0.652s 1m0.386s
13 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.005s +0.657s 1m0.391s
14 Josef Newgarden Team Penske Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0s +0.657s 1m0.391s
15 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda +0.048s +0.705s 1m0.439s
16 Christian Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.019s +0.724s 1m0.458s
17 David Malukas Dale Coyne Racing with HMD Motorsport Dallara DW12-Honda +0.029s +0.753s 1m0.487s
18 Callum Ilott Juncos Hollinger Racing Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.116s +0.869s 1m0.603s
19 Romain Grosjean Andretti Autosport Dallara DW12-Honda +0.151s +1.02s 1m0.754s
20 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.043s +1.063s 1m0.797s
21 Dalton Kellett A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.023s +1.086s 1m0.82s
22 Graham Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.508s +1.594s 1m01.328s
23 Takuma Sato Dale Coyne Racing with RWR Dallara DW12-Honda +0.031s +1.625s 1m01.359s
24 Jack Harvey Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.006s +1.631s 1m01.365s
25 Jimmie Johnson Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara DW12-Honda +0.519s +2.15s 1m01.884s
26 Tatiana Calderón A.J. Foyt Enterprises Dallara DW12-Chevrolet +0.248s +2.398s 1m02.132s

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