One race down, 16 to go. So what do we know about the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season?
Probably not much, but here are 10 things to consider in the wake of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
- Clearly, Honda’s program is stronger than it was last year, if for no other reason than it already has its first win – Sebastien Bourdais captured the St. Petersburg race – and Chip Ganassi Racing has switched back to the Honda brand. Seven of the top 10 finishers in the season-opening race were on the Honda side of the ledger.
- Honda did more than win the first race of this season; it ended a lengthy drought on street circuits. Its last such win was May 30, 2015 — when Carlos Munoz won in Detroit.
- This goes without saying, but don’t dismiss Team Penske, which went 1-2-3 in last year’s standings. Yes, Simon Pagenaud and Helio Castroneves struggled in St. Pete qualifying, but Pagenaud finished second in the race, Castroneves was sixth and Josef Newgarden eighth. The team will be fine. It might even sweep a podium or two this season.