The IndyCar Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit was stopped for more than an hour Saturday after 28 of 70 laps because of a violent crash for Felix Rosenqvist in Turn 6.
Safety workers needed about 10 minutes to extricate the Arrow McLaren SP driver, whose No. 7 Dallara-Chevrolet had a mechanical failure entering the turn. Rosenqvist’s car impacted the wall at full speed, scattering tires and knocking over concrete barriers while collapsing the front end.
NBC Sports’ in-car cameras showed that Rosenqvist was awake and alert after the impact, dropping his visor while awaiting help. He was loaded onto a stretcher and put in an ambulance for transport to the medical center at Belle Isle Raceway.
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Dr. Geoffrey Billows of IndyCar told NBC Sports reporter Marty Snider that Rosenqvist was “doing fine” and never lost consciousness but was experiencing soreness. Billows said Rosenqvist was in stable condition during his visit to the infield care center for preliminary evaluation.
Dr. Billows said the driver was transported to DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital in downtown Detroit for advanced imaging on his lower body and further evaluation.
In an update from Arrow McLaren SP shortly after 8 p.m., Dr. Billows said Rosenqvist would be kept at the hospital overnight for observation before being discharged.
The team announced shortly after 9 p.m. that Oliver Askew would replace Rosenqvist in the No. 7 Chevy for Sunday’s race, returning to the ride that Askew made 12 starts in last season (including a career-high third at Iowa Speedway).
I’m doing ok, except alot of soreness! Thanks for all the messages and to the @IndyCar medical staff for looking after me. What a race we had going til that point, bummer… Big congrats to @Ericsson_Marcus on his first W, happy for you bro 🤘🏻 https://t.co/ue9AxWpxCP
— Felix Rosenqvist (@FRosenqvist) June 13, 2021
In another update shortly after 10 p.m., Arrow McLaren SP said the No. 7 underwent a detailed examination that ruled out driver error, software problems or a stuck throttle for the crash.
The team blamed a “single, non-recurrent mechanical fault” for the wreck.
After a "detailed examination," the @ArrowMcLarenSP team says the @FRosenqvist crash was because of a "single, non-recurrent mechanical fault" that was unrelated to driver error or issues involving Chevrolet systems/software or anything involving the throttle system of the No. 7. pic.twitter.com/E6AqwMZkaq
— Nate Ryan (@nateryan) June 13, 2021
Rosenqvist had pitted seven laps before the wreck. Will Power said he had expected the lead to cycle into Rosenqvist’s favor.
“I think Rosenqvist was probably the leader on that, so it’s really bad for him, man,” Power told Snider. “It sucks that happened to him. I’m sure it’s a stuck throttle. That’s what it looks like, and I’ve been through that. When you go straight in, you hurt your back pretty badly, so I’m hoping he hasn’t broken his back.”
The race, which is the first of a Saturday-Sunday doubleheader, was placed under the red flag at 2:46 p.m. ET, and engines were restarted at 4:04 p.m. after a stoppage of 1 hour, 18 minutes and 36 seconds for repairs to the wall.
Rosenqvist, 29, is in his third NTT IndyCar Series season and his first with Arrow McLaren SP. The Swede drove the past two seasons with Chip Ganassi Racing, scoring his first victory last year at Road America.