Grosjean ‘knew we had pole’ from qualifying start

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean has revealed his remarkable confidence in Andretti Autosport after claiming to have known he ‘had pole’ from the start of qualifying at the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix.

The former F1 driver scored the third pole of his IndyCar career on Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park to complete an incredible recovery from a written-off opening practice session that saw his Honda engine expire.

“I’ve got a hell of a team. The car is awesome and I’ve got three team-mates that I can rely on so I kind of went with their set up, with the baseline that we have and from the moment we started quali, I knew that we had it,” said Grosjean.

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The Andretti Autosport driver is still awaiting his first IndyCar victory after coming close most recently at the season-opening event in St Petersburg.

Asked if he believes this duck could be broken on Sunday, he added: “We’ll see.

“We’re starting in the best position and we’ve got 90 laps to lead. If no one crashes into me, good.”

Grosjean is the first repeat pole sitter of the season and although he was confident enough once in the cockpit, he and team owner Michael Andretti had been less expectant of success following a dominant display from Alex Palou in practice two.

“This morning, Alex was very fast. I was having lunch with Michael and we didn’t think we would catch them,” he revealed.

“But then we started quali and the car was amazing on the blacks. We got a bit of traffic on the reds but made it through.

“Then, in the Fast 12, I got the fastest lap again and in the Fast Six, I think my first lap should have been better. I made a mistake in Turn 12-13, so we went again and the car was good.

“We’ve shown that we’ve got a very good baseline package on street courses and road courses – oval is getting good as well.

“Honda has done a very good job, especially after we had the engine blowing in practice, so we lost all of practice one which is not ideal.”

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