Schmidt Peterson Motorsports racer Wickens lay sixth within the championship standings when he suffered a monstrous shunt at Pomona that introduced his first season to a shuddering halt.
As much as that time, the Canadian had scored a pole place and brought 4 podium finishes – with a pair extra slipping from his grasp by way of no fault of his personal.
Rosenqvist arrives in IndyCar with a equally spectacular junior formulation résumé, however with further sportscar racing and Method E success to his title. Dixon predicts this big selection of expertise may stand the 27-year-old Swede in good stead.
“He’s been superb on suggestions and he’s positively obtained nice automobile management,” stated Dixon. “The factor with Felix is that he’s a rookie in IndyCar however he’s pushed so many various issues – sportscars, GT3s, slightly little bit of rallying… so it’s very completely different to listen to his perspective on numerous various things.”
Requested if Rosenqvist may emulate Wickens, who gained the Rookie of the Yr award at each the Indy 500 and within the IndyCar championship, Dixon replied: “Completely, yeah.
“I believe with Robbie – I don’t know why – it was slightly extra below cowl and I don’t why that’s. However he’s been superb at many formulation all through his profession.
“And I believe Felix for certain has the chance to do the identical factor.”
Rosenqvist not sure of emulating Wickens
On the identical topic, Rosenqvist was much less assured than his teammate that he may emulate Wickens who, regardless of lacking the final three races of the 2018 season, added the IndyCar Collection Rookie of the Yr title to his comparable award from the Indy 500.
“You by no means know,” Rosenqvist responded. “I at all times intention to win races wherever I am going. I’m not right here to mess around.
“I’ve excessive expectations of myself and I do know I’m with in all probability one of the best staff with Chip Ganassi Racing. I believe I’ve all the correct preparations going for me and that’s extra necessary than something.
“I’m right here to win and I believe it’s extra a query of when relatively than if.”
Rosenqvist, referring to final Friday’s take a look at at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, hinted that his second place there within the abbreviated session was not a freak consequence, and in addition said he most well-liked the plain perils of the gravel run-offs of America’s conventional street programs and the concrete partitions on avenue programs.
“I believe I’ve had superb preparation for the season in contrast with earlier racing sequence. I really feel very a lot into the staff already and getting increasingly snug, and at Laguna Seca one thing clicked for me within the driving.
“I’m very a lot for the old-school type of circuits, particularly avenue circuits. I discover I usually have higher outcomes on these sorts of circuits as nicely.
“I wouldn’t say COTA is like Abu Dhabi as a result of this observe has numerous elevation change, and it’s a extremely cool format and it’s fairly good to be taught the boundaries of the automobile slightly extra. However I might take avenue circuits like St. Pete, Lengthy Seashore…”
“Coming from Europe, we have now numerous these tracks which have grow to be a bit spoiled, I might say, by huge runoffs that take the problem out of the circuits. Within the U.S., I like the way in which that… it’s not that the circuits are unsafe, it’s extra that they’ve a sure DNA within the observe that makes that observe particular. They don’t actually change the tracks from 12 months to 12 months.
“I went to Sebring a few weeks in the past and that place has been the identical for like 50 years, and everybody nonetheless loves it. Individuals need that type of mystique in a circuit, and I believe that’s what’s actually particular about U.S. racing.”
Rosenqvist was decided to pursue IndyCar probability
Regardless of his vastly diverse experiences racing open-wheel automobiles and sportscars, Rosenqvist says that he was at all times aiming for a shot in IndyCar, an ambition heightened after scoring three Indy Lights victories in his 10-race partial season in 2016 with Belardi Auto Racing.
“Once I did Indy Lights, I advised everybody that I might be again someday,” he stated. “That had been a dream of mine to drive IndyCar.
“After which Method E got here by and though nobody anticipated Method E to be round, it’s a very nice championship and everybody could be very skilled, the drivers receives a commission and it was a good time there. I actually cherished Method E.
“However nonetheless my dream of IndyCar was larger and I believe from a sporting perspective, to drive these automobiles at these nice circuits gave me a starvation to return right here and that turned larger than the love I had for Method E. So I took the prospect and right here I’m.”
Rosenqvist stated that the arrival of himself and Swedish compatriot and ex-Method 1 driver Marcus Ericsson has induced a spike of IndyCar curiosity of their nation of origin.
“The Swedish fanbase is admittedly rising excessive on IndyCar protection,” he confirmed. “When Marcus give up F1 there was numerous negativity in Sweden within the racing group, after which on the identical time I signed with Ganassi, after which two or three weeks later Marcus signed [Schmidt Peterson], and immediately everybody who was unhappy then obtained overexcited.
“Now everybody has forgotten F1 and they’re full-on IndyCar! So sure, it’s a good time.”
Felix Rosenqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Photograph by: IndyCar Collection