Will Power believes that he could have got a better result from the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg if it weren't for an early pace car.
Power's first race of the 2022 season was a race of two halves as he quickly fell back to fourth after starting second on the grid, but crucially on the harder black compound of tires whilst his pursuers were on the reds.
Things got trickier for the Australian after David Malukas hit the wall at Turn two on Lap 23, with the resulting pace car causing Power to lose track position during the first round of pitstops.
But Power's second stint was much better, and he managed to leapfrog Colton Herta for the final spot on the podium as Scott McLaughlin took a popular first victory.
Despite his sluggish start, Power was pleased with his performance in the season's opening race. However, he was left wondering what might have been if the pace car hadn't come out so early in the race.
After the Firestone GP, Power spoke to selected media including Motorlat.
"Yeah, it was a really good day. I think we had a really fast car. The yellow was unfortunate, but still, to get back to third, I was really happy with it. I think anytime you're on the podium, anytime you have a top 5, that's not the day you're going to look back and go, oh, that cost me the championship. happy with the result" Power said.
"I started on blacks, and I also got on the paint, and it spun up when I went, which I wasn't -- I knew everyone would come back to me because the reds would go off, but unfortunately caught that yellow, so we were coming pretty good. I was pretty sure we'd be able to get past Scott, but unfortunately, then I'd have to get on reds and try and maintain a reasonable pace, which I did in the second stint for a whole stint."
"I think we could have been all right today with that strategy but caught out with the yellow. Something else I've been on about for a decade is closing the pits under yellow because that would have been so nice to be able to pit when it went yellow there."
The opening race in St Petersburg saw the emergence of talented rookies Kyle Kirkwood, Callum Ilott and Christian Lundgaard, who had good starts to their first full season in IndyCar, with Lundgaard finishing the highest of all the rookies in 11th.
Power, who is beginning his 18th year of racing in IndyCar, is delighted with the quality of the series' lineup and their on-track conduct.
"It's great, man. It really is. In the years I've been in this series, it's the toughest it's ever been, the quality of the teams and the drivers are higher than it's ever been, and yeah, just so many good young drivers.
“You can tell that the field quality is really high because there are not many yellows, even in practice. Even at Sebring, we hardly had any yellows when we had the one test."