Rosenqvist spent his first two IndyCar seasons at Chip Ganassi Racing-Honda, profitable the Rookie of the Yr title in 2019 with sixth total within the championship and scoring his first race win at Street America final season.
Nonetheless, his transfer to Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet has not been a easy transition, and whereas teammate Pato O’Ward sits third within the championship and gained the second Texas Motor Speedway race, the unfortunate Rosenqvist is buried in 20th together with his ‘spotlight’ being 12th in St. Petersburg.
Johansson, a podium finisher in Components 1 and Indy automobiles, and a Le Mans 24hr winner, says his 29-year-old compatriot’s greatest concern has been misfortune and a wrestle to adapt to the basic setup philosophies of his new group.
“It’s only a mixture of circumstances,” Johansson instructed Motorsport.com. “Felix had a tough time getting used to the dealing with of the automotive to start with – and nonetheless has on the street programs. The group’s arrange could be very completely different to Ganassi’s.
“As a driver you’ll have a sure driving type and a automotive that matches or not, and if it doesn’t, it’s a must to recalibrate your mind. I feel it’s been robust to do this with the extraordinarily restricted quantity of testing you get now and the truth that it’s nearly all completed preseason. Testing within the winter is hard as a result of the temperatures are so completely different; you’ll be able to’t get the tires to modify on. Scott had the identical factor in testing – he felt they didn’t have one respectable, consultant check day the entire offseason.
“I’m not overly involved, and the group understands what’s happening, and so they’re all conscious of his state of affairs. It’s not like they’re all apprehensive that he’s not a quick driver anymore.
“I’m not overly involved about it. Pato is clearly very proficient and may drive the automotive the best way it’s arrange however Felix has had a tough time of it as a result of 1) it’s completely different from what he was used to, and a pair of) it doesn’t swimsuit his driving type significantly effectively. It’s gotten higher as a result of the group has made some modifications.
“I’d say total, he’s upbeat, optimistic, and he’ll get a deal with on it. He loves the group, he’s actually proud of them and will get on nice with the engineering group, and so they’re proud of him. Everybody’s very constructive – there’s no doom and gloom or desperation. They’re optimistic the outcomes will begin coming quickly.”
Johansson, who additionally manages six-time champion Scott Dixon, stated he wasn’t stunned that in a spec sequence there could be such other ways to arrange a automotive from group to group.
“Even in a spec sequence there’s rather a lot you are able to do to the automobiles,” he stated, “and in IndyCar, much more so, as a result of you’ll be able to mess around with suspension geometry, the damping ‘field’ is open for groups to do their very own factor, and so forth. Yeah, there’s an inexpensive quantity of room to play.
Felix Rosenqvist, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet
Photograph by: Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Photos
“So the extraordinarily restricted testing is what makes the distinction. If he had two clear days to only go and deal with getting the automotive higher suited to what he needs, Felix and the group would have it sorted actually shortly. However like I say, when all of the testing is finished within the winter time and the circumstances are crap half the time, then it’s simply onerous to get on prime of any concern that has come up and is stopping you from simply plugging into a brand new group and getting on with it. And if there’s just about no testing within the season, then it’s a must to make your progress within the store, within the sim or in follow – which has been diminished this 12 months.”
Rosenqvist is famend as some of the versatile 20-somethings in racing, having achieved success in Components Renault, Components 3, Components E, Indy Lights, Scandinavian Porsche Carrera Cup, Blancpain GT. Requested if it was subsequently a shock he has taken some time to adapt to AMSP’s setups, Johansson replied: “Effectively, I feel it was a little bit of a shock to Felix when he first obtained within the automotive as a result of it felt so unusual in contrast with what he was used to. And you may’t surrender any margin as a result of it’s so freakin’ shut now.
“We’ve had, what, six races thus far this 12 months? And in each single one, a distinct group has been one of the best group – and none of them have been Penske. And but Ed Carpenter and Dale Coyne had the 2 finest groups on the Indy street course. It’s insane how shut this championship is now. Completely incredible and with plenty of proficient drivers and no dangerous groups.
“However what I’m saying is that when the margins are that tight, you can not afford to depart even a tenth on the desk, and with out testing, the enhancements are having to return on race weekends. The good factor is, Arrow McLaren SP have an extremely good engineering group now. I’m very constructive that between their expertise and his expertise, it’ll be nice. Like I say, I’m not apprehensive about it, and Felix himself is aware of higher than anybody the circumstances of why this or that has gone fallacious from race to race.
“At Texas, for instance, he may have had two podiums or probably even a win. He stated within the second race, the automotive was insanely good! He stated he’d by no means had a greater automotive on an oval, and was simply ready for that final stint. He stated he may sit two ft behind [Josef] Newgarden [eventual runner-up] and it was really easy he may have completed it with only one hand on the wheel kinda factor. However he had pitlane points each races at Texas and that was it.”
Requested if he believed Rosenqvist was feeling stress at being straight in contrast with O’Ward, Johansson replied, “Oh no, that’s the character of the beast at this stage, and Felix is fairly sturdy psychologically. I imply, he was in contrast with Scott for 2 years! Clearly Pato is an especially proficient driver too, and people are the sorts of teammates you’re going to come across in a prime sequence, proper?
“Felix simply must get the automotive to the place he and his engineer simply must fine-tune it from observe to trace – and he wants a change of luck, clearly. In racing, generally you’re the windshield, generally you’re the bug. Generally you undergo an entire season and nearly each transfer you make is the best one, then you definately do precisely the identical factor the following 12 months and you may’t make something respectable occur – goes the fallacious method each time.
“That’s simply the best way it goes. It’s bizarre.”
Stefan Johansson, supervisor for Felix Rosenqvist and Scott Dixon.
Photograph by: Scott R LePage / Motorsport Photos