Alexander Rossi had the fastest lap in the first practice for the Honda Indy Toronto this afternoon with a lap of 1:00.6090. Simon Pagenaud was second, just 0,0901 seconds behind. Graham Rahal was third, 0.0941 seconds off Rossi’s lap.
The session stopped four times. The first red flag was for a track inspection of a manhole cover in turn 2. Callum Ilott tagged the wall his front wing to cause the second halt to action. Jimmie Johnson spun in turn eight, just lightly brushing the barrier with the end plate of the front wing, and Helio Castroneves caused the final red flag when the went into the tire barrier n turn eight and stalled his car.
Alex Palou put aside this week’s controversy and turned in the10th best time. He told the media this morning that he will not make further comments on the situation. Palou said he is concentrating on repeating as series champion.
Points leader Marcus Ericsson finished the session in fourth place, ahead of his two closest rivals. Will Power ninth and Josef Newgarden was fifth.
Rahal’s third place is the first time this year the team has been in the conversation at the end of a session. He said that a test at Sebring gave the team a good idea of what would work at Toronto. Rahal would like to find more pace on the red alternate tires.
I had forgotten how tight and narrow the Toronto circuit is. There is little room for error anywhere on the track.
Pit entrance and exit look very tight. Pit boxes have been reduced to 35 feet from their normal 40 foot space to accommodate the extra entries. The grid is expected to be even larger in 2023. The series is working with the promoter to redesign the pit lane for more cars..
It was great seeing the Princes’ Gate again. I have always thought that the track should be driving through it at the start of each lap rather than it being part of the runoff area.