Rookies Colton Herta, Santino Ferrucci show promise in St. Pete

IndyCar Photo by James Black
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The season-opening IndyCar race on the streets and runways of St. Petersburg saw one rookie challenge for the win, two others finish in the top 10, and another wondering what might have been.

Felix Rosenqvist stole the show by challenging for the lead immediately after starting third and settling into a comfortable fourth-place running position. He finished there, wedged between veterans Will Power (who won the championship in 2014 and finished third in the standings the past two years) and Alexander Rossi (who finished second to Scott Dixon last year).

But as Rosenqvist stood on pit road and patiently took every question the media directed at him, two other freshman drivers headed to the garage with top-10 finishes.

Colton Herta (eighth) and Santino Ferrucci (ninth) had bigger obstacles to overcome during the afternoon. Herta started just outside the top 10 in 11th. Ferrucci’s day was much less promising when the green flag first waved over the field.

He crashed in the first round of qualification, brought out a red flag and had his time disallowed. Ferrucci started on the back row and had to meticulously work his way through the field. He did so by staying on the lead lap and out of trouble. By the time Ed Jones and Matheus Leist exited with crash damage on Lap 25, Ferrucci was up to 18th.

Santino Ferrucci finished ninth in the St. Petersburg Grand Prix. Joe Skibinski, IndyCar

It took a little strategy to climb all the way into the top 10, but once the checkers waved over Josef Newgarden at the end of 110 laps, Ferrucci was ninth.

“We found something in morning warmup that was unexpected, and we made it work in the race,” Ferrucci said. “Our engineer, Michael Cannon, called a brilliant strategy, and I had to do a lot of fuel saving, to say the least. We kept it clean and in the top 10, and that was the goal. I’m really happy with today’s result, especially considering where we started.”

Ferrucci’s first IndyCar top 10 came in his fifth race. He came close last September with an 11th at Sonoma Raceway.

Herta had a less consistent race. Making his second IndyCar start, he scraped the wall early. That caused him to drop through the field until he was running only one spot ahead of Ferrucci at the time of the Jones accident.

“What an up and down race,” Herta said. “We had a pretty poor start to the race. I bumped the wall after a restart and lost quite a bit of positions. We were all the way down in 17th position at one point. After that, we just had really great pace and were able to start making up positions when everyone was in the pits. An eighth-place finish isn’t too bad for the first race of the season.”

Lost in the box score was the strength of Marcus Ericsson’s run. For most of the first half of the race, he was the second-best rookie. Prior to his retirement for an engine failure, he was running 12th – two spots ahead of Herta and four in front of Ferrucci.

“It was a great race up until the end. We started quite far back, farther back than what we think we should’ve started. It was going well and we were well inside the top 10 when we had the problem (mechanical issue). Looking at what’s happening now, we were definitely going for a top eight in the Arrow car. It was just a shame because it was a really great race up until then.”

Marcus Ericsson retired from the St. Petersburg Grand Prix on Lap 54. (IndyCar photo by Chris Owens)

Max Verstappen is PointsBet favorite to score sixth staight in 2022 Singapore Grand Prix

PointsBet 2022 Singapore odds
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Max Verstappen is the PointsBet Sportsbook odds favorite to win the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix on the Marina Bay Street course to stretch his current win streak to six consecutive. He shows odds of -200 this week.

Formula 1 did not compete in Singapore in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Verstappen has podium finishes in his last two attempts on this track. he was second in 2018 and third in 2019. In the first 15 races of this season, he has failed to stand on the podium only twice and has an average finish of 2.73.

With minus odds, the way to determine a payout is by subtraction. In order for a bettor to earn $100, he must wager $200 this week; with that wager, he will get back his initial stake and winnings of $100.

For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Charles Leclerc is ranked second this week with +400 odds. He has two previous Singapore GP starts to his credit with a best of second in 2019. He is coming off back-to-back podium finishes with a third in the Dutch GP and a second at Monza.

Ranked third is Carlos Sainz, Jr. with a line of +1100. He has top-five finishes in four of his last five starts, but only one of these, a third in the Belgian GP, was on the podium. Sainz is one of four winners other than Verstappen this season. His victory came in the British GP.

Lewis Hamilton shows a line of +1200. His last win came last fall in the Saudi Arabian GP and the Mercedes team has struggled to contend for victory in 2022. They are improving, however, with eight top-fives in the last nine races. Hamilton has two wins in his last three Singapore starts, which came in 2017 and 2018.

Rounding out the top five is Hamilton’s teammate George Russell at +1800. He has not won, but has shown remarkable consistency with top-fives in all but one race. Notably, his only bad finish came in his home GP in England. Russell has one previous start at Marina Bay; he finished last in the 2019 race. He finished fourth in 2019 as part of a four-race streak of top-fives.

The most recent Singapore GP winner from 2019, Sebastian Vettel is a longshot at +50000.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner, and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

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