Arrow McLaren 2024 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Race Preview

Source: Team PR

Streets of St. Petersburg

Race Date: March 10

Round: 1/18

Total Laps: 100

Total Race Distance: 180 miles/289.68 km

Length: 1.8 miles/2.90 km

Number of Turns: 14

Session Start Times

  • Practice 1: Friday, 2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST
  • Practice 2: Saturday, 9:35 a.m. – 10:35 a.m. EST
  • Qualifying: Saturday, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EST
  • Warm-Up: Sunday, 9:10 a.m. – 9:40 a.m. EST
  • Green Flag: Sunday, 12:30 p.m. EST

TUNE IN: Sunday, 12:00 p.m. on NBC

Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

2023 Championship Position: 4th, 484 points

2023 Average Starting Position: 6.3

2023 Average Finishing Position: 7.9

2023 Best Starting Position: P2, 2x, last at Bommarito Automotive Group 500

2023 Best Finishing Position: P2, 4x, last at Bommarito Automotive Group 500

Career at St. Petersburg:

  • Total Starts: 4
  • Best Starting Position: P3, 2023
  • Best Finishing Position: P2, 2x, last in 2023
  • 2023 Result: P2

“I’m always pumped to go back to St. Pete every year because that means we’re starting a new season. It’s a track that I’ve had the pleasure of driving on multiple types of open wheel cars through the years and can’t wait to add another one to the books. The team and I are coming off a strong test in Sebring and are ready for the challenges that lie ahead this year.”

Callum Ilott, No. 6 NTT DATA Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

2023 Championship Position: 16th, 266 points

2023 Average Starting Position: 18.9

2023 Average Finishing Position: 15.3

2023 Best Starting Position: P8, Grand Prix of Portland

2023 Best Finishing Position: P5, 2x, last Grand Prix of Monterrey

Career at St. Petersburg: 

  • Total Starts: 2
  • Best Starting Position: P 19, 2022
  • Best Finishing Position: P5, 2023
  • 2023 Result: P5

“It’s been a crazy schedule to make this all work, and I’m very grateful to finally be here and to make it happen. The Homestead test was very positive, and then we got the ball rolling again at the shop this week to get last minute preparations in. It’s going to be good, I think. I’m very impressed with the team and how they operate, and I’m excited to see what we can do. I had a good race last year at St. Pete and I’m coming off the back of a good race in Qatar in the World Endurance Championship, so the mindset is good. There’s a lot to discover and a lot to learn.”

Alexander Rossi, No. 7 VELO Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

2023 Championship Position: 9th, 375 points

2023 Average Starting Position: 11.3

2023 Average Finishing Position: 10.9

2023 Best Starting Position: P3, 2x, last Gallagher Grand Prix

2023 Best Finishing Position: P3, GMR Grand Prix

Career at St. Petersburg:

  • Total Starts: 8
  • Best Starting Position: P2, 2020
  • Best Finishing Position: P3, 2018
  • 2023 Result: P4

“I am so excited to get to St. Pete to kick off 2024. It has been a very long off-season, but at the same time, it has been incredibly productive. It is amazing to see how far we’ve come since the season opener last year, and we have a lot of confidence as an entire organization. As always, it’s important to start the year off with some positive momentum and that is exactly what we are looking to do this weekend. I can’t wait to see everyone at the track wearing papaya.”

Gavin Ward, Team Principal

“It’s been a long off-season, but we’re finally here. I’m excited to get down to St. Petersburg and compete with a really talented group that’s worked hard all winter to improve many of our processes. I think we’re in a really strong place and hopefully we can roll off the truck strong to, frankly, take care of some unfinished business here from last year. I couldn’t imagine a better group to go racing with, and I’m looking forward to getting this season started the right way.”