2012 Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 25, 2012 took in the Streets of St. Petersburg in Saint Petersburg, Florida, United States place and was the first race of the IndyCar Series season of 2012.

  • 3.1 qualifying
  • 3.2 race 3.2.1 guide sections
  • 3.2.2 yellow phase
  • 4.1 Drivers' Championship
  • 4.2 Manufacturers' Championship



The Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in 2012 was the first IndyCar race with the new chassis, the Dallara DW12. For the first time since the 2005 season ( with the exception of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach 2008) Honda was no longer the exclusive engine supplier. Chevrolet and Lotus (in cooperation with Engine Developments ) increased as an engine supplier in the IndyCar Series. The old V8 naturally aspirated engines were replaced by 2.2 liter V6 turbo engines.

Ed Carpenter Racing entered the first time to a race. At Sam Schmidt Motorsports Sarah Fisher Racing and it was between seasons changes in the share structure, which is why the team as a Schmidt- Hamilton Motorsports Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing and went to the start. Dragon Racing and Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing returned to the IndyCar Series.

Rubens Barrichello, who was at that time the driver with the most Formula 1 start, made ​​his debut in this race for KV Racing Technology in IndyCar Series. In addition, Katherine Legge ( Lotus Dragon Racing), which was driven in the Champ Car series, and Josef Newgarden (Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing) first took part in a race in the IndyCar Series. Sébastien Bourdais ( Lotus Dragon Racing ), Simon Pagenaud ( Schmidt- Hamilton Motorsports ) and Justin Wilson (Dale Coyne Racing) returned to the IndyCar Series. Ed Carpenter ( Ed Carpenter Racing), Mike Conway (AJ Foyt Enterprises), James Hinchcliffe ( Andretti Autosport), Takuma Satō ( Rahal Letterman Lanigan ) and Oriol Servia ( Lotus - DRR) started for the first time for their new teams.

With Hélio Castroneves (twice), Graham Rahal, Ryan Briscoe, Will Power and Dario Franchitti ( once each ) were five former winners of this Grand Prix.


In the first session Scott Dixon posted the fastest time in front of the Penske drivers Briscoe and Power the fastest lap. He had almost half a second ahead of his pursuers. While Chevrolet and Honda Pilot traveled similarly fast lap times, Servia had to be the best Lotus driver of a second behind the first, and was in 19th place. In the second session Power put the best time ahead of Briscoe and Franchitti. Simona de Silvestro as the best driver with Lotus engine had almost a second behind. In the third training Pagenaud was the fastest rider with power and Briscoe. Bourdais had the residue of the Lotus pilots reduced to less than six tenths of seconds. However, chances for a starting position Pagenaud had not since the engine was changed before the final workout, which drew a disciplinary transfer to ten positions would be.


The first part of the session was held in two groups. The six fastest drivers in each group came to the second segment. The remaining starting positions were determined from the result of the first Qualifyingabschnitts, where the drivers of the first group, the odd positions from 13, and the drivers of the second group were assigned to the even positions from 14. In this section, both drivers of Lotus Dragon Racing fell on with errors. Bourdais turned and made for an interruption of the session of the second group. His teammate Legge hit in the first group shortly before the end into a tire wall. In the first group Castroneves set the fastest lap in the second group, Ryan Hunter -Reay was the fastest pilot. All Lotus pilots resigned already in this section. Best of Alex Tagliani them was at the 17th position.

In the second segment of qualifying, the six fastest riders qualified for the final section. Hinchchliffe posted the fastest lap time. Next to him made ​​it with Power, Briscoe, Hunter-Reay and Castroneves total of five Chevrolet driver, as well as all Penske pilots, in the third part of qualifying. The so-called Firestone Fast Six completed Pagenaud, who drove the only one of these six drivers with a Honda engine.

Power finally posted the fastest time and achieved the pole position ahead of his teammate Briscoe and Hunter -Reay. It was the first pole position for Chevrolet, and the third pole position of power in a row in Saint Petersburg. Powers pole time was 0.6 seconds faster than his pole time from last season with the old chassis.

Final training

In the final training session in the morning before the race Conway drove the fastest lap before Satō and Wilson. The track was still slightly damp after a shower at night.


When starting power kept the lead and also the positions two and three remained unchanged. Behind Dixon took over with a good start in fourth place. Power initially led safely.

In the 12 lap, there were several shifts. Legge had stopped on the start -finish straight with an electrical problem. Among other things, Power opted for a pit stop, whereby the guide at Briscoe went. Legge drove to a repair stop further, but fell in the course of the race from.

Short the restart it came to the next caution period after James Jakes stood in the distance limitation of curve 10. In this yellow phase Tony Kanaan and de Silvestro fell out with technical problems. Power had fallen in the meantime into midfield. The now leading drivers set only at the beginning of the second third of the race by their first pit stop.

Among other things, Castroneves fell through this stop behind Carpenter. After he did not come past him a long time, both cars touched in the last corner. This Castroneves turned his opponent, who, therefore, was lying on the start -finish straight and another caution period was necessary. In this yellow phase completed most of the pilots who were not on a two -stop strategy, their second stop.

Then there were no other yellows more. Dixon initially led the race until his second and last stop before Castroneves. After both pilots were in the pits, overtook Castroneves Dixon and sat on him. After the remaining pilots were in the pits, Castroneves was safely in the lead. In the Grand Prix fell especially in the final phase, several pilots with technical problems.

Finally, Castroneves won the race with a lead of about five seconds. It was already Castroneves third victory in the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. He was at the time the only multiple winner of this Grand Prix. It was his first victory since the IndyCar race at Motegi in 2010. Behind Castroneves completed Dixon, Hunter -Reay, Hinchcliffe and Briscoe the top five. Of the first five pilots stopped until Briscoe all pilots twice. Briscoe came to the pits three times.

Pagenaud scored his best ever placing in the IndyCar Series in this race with the sixth place. Power was seventh ahead of EJ Viso, who still had a so-called splash and dash stop in which only a few laps fuel is refueled shortly before race end to the box. Charlie Kimball and Wilson qualified ninth and tenth.

After the race, the winner Castroneves his vehicle did not, as usual, on the start -finish straight on, but at turn 10 The local street was renamed ahead of the Grand Prix in Dan Wheldon Way. Dan Wheldon was killed in an accident in the last race of the IndyCar Series 2011 in Las Vegas. Castroneves climbed the catch fence at the point where the street name sign was mounted and pointed to this. Castroneves climbs to Siegen for Usually the catch fence, which earned him the name "Spiderman". Castroneves justified his behavior after the race with the following words: "There is no question. This victory belongs to our friend in heaven above, Dan Wheldon. "

Message list

All teams and drivers used the chassis Dallara DW12 with an aero kit from Dallara and a Firestone tire.







Guide sections


Yellow phases


Points standings after the race

Drivers' championship

The scoring is explained here.

Manufacturers' Championship