The first IndyCar race of the 2023 season got off to a dramatic start on Sunday.
The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg received a red flag on the first lap as multiple cars got involved in an accident. Felix Rosenqvist, Helio Castroneves, Santolino Ferrucci, Devlin DeFrancesco, Sting Ray Robb, Benjamin Pedersen and Simon Pagenaud were all involved in the wreck.
DeFrancesco went airborne after he was hit by Pedersen. DeFrancesco did a spin in the air and came back down. Somehow, Conor Daly took the outside track and avoided the wreckage.
“I’m fine,” DeFrancesco said after being cleared from the medical facility, via Racer. “Not the way you want to start the season. We had concerns about Turn 3 and made IndyCar very aware of it. There have been multiple incidents there all weekend because it’s slippery. And that was the scenario that happened to me.
“I saw Helio spinning in front of me and then I saw the No. 55 coming and I knew it was going to be a big one and braced up and got ready for it. It was a wild ride.”
It was a less-than-ideal way to start the 2023 season.
The race started with Andretti Autosport drivers in the 1-2 spot. Roman Grosjean picked up the pole prior to the start and Colton Herta was by his side.
Will Power is the defending IndyCar Series champion. Marcus Ericcson won the Indianapolis 500 last year.