Romain Grosjean begins his 2023 IndyCar campaign with Andretti Autosport in the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

The first IndyCar race of the 2023 season kicked off in the Sunshine State on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida. In the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, drivers were to complete 100 laps of a 14-turn layout that took them over the bumps of downtown St. Pete, before the track smoothed out toward the final portion of the 1.8 miles (2.9 kilometers) it spanned.

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Image Credit: Josh Warner

Step One Motorsports ambassador Romain Grosjean, competing for Andretti Autosport, started the race on pole position at the head of a field of 27 drivers. He drove a commanding race, showing immense pace on his way to what seemed a certain victory when, on lap 70, Grosjean pitted from P2 for his final stop. Scott McLaughlin followed him into the pits one lap later, rejoining the track just as Grosjean approached the corner near the pit exit, and the two momentarily battled for the lead. Grosjean went to the outside into turn four, with McLaughlin on the inside, before the two collided as McLaughlin couldn’t hold onto the rear end of his car, ending both drivers’ races. Later, McLaughlin accepted fault for the incident and apologized to Grosjean. It was an unfortunate ending to what was otherwise an impressive race for Grosjean who did not falter despite an incident-filled race around him.

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Image Credit: Josh Warner

The next IndyCar race of the season will take him to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX. The 2023 event will mark the 27th consecutive year of the series racing on this 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) oval that sees drivers competing side-by-side at speeds of over 200mph. The weekend’s action kicks off on March 31st with Friday practice and culminates with race day on April 2nd.