Leading Chevrolet drivers have cautioned against reading too much into the manufacturer's dominant performance over main rival Honda in qualifying for the IndyCar season opener at St. Petersburg.
Chevrolet-powered cars occupied five of the six slots in the final phase of qualifying, with Schmidt-Hamilton Motorsports' Simon Pagenaud the sole Honda representative. However Penske's Helio Castroneves (LEFT), who qualified fifth, said that he still considered Honda to be a threat.
"Through the two sessions yesterday and then through today Chevrolet has stepped up their game, and it is a testament to how hard that they have worked," he said. "That there is only one Honda [in the Fast Six] shows that Chevy is very competitive. But the times are extremely close and it will be like that in the race."
Andretti Autosport's Ryan Hunter-Reay, who will start from third, is similarly convinced that Honda will rebound quickly.
"I think it's going to be back and forth a lot," he said. "I don't think this is necessarily the stamp that Chevy has it made."
Pagenaud carried a 10-place grid penalty into qualifying following an unauthorized engine change after second practice on Friday, but his sixth place on the grid will be taken by fellow Honda driver Scott Dixon of Target Chip Ganassi Racing.