Simon Pagenaud, IndyCar, Indianapolis 500, 2019

Pagenaud wins Indy 500 with penultimate-lap pass on Rossi


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Simon Pagenaud won the Indianapolis 500 for the first time by passing Alexander Rossi with one lap to go.

The Penske and Andretti drivers put on a thrilling conclusion to the race, swapping the lead multiple times in a 13-lap sprint to the chequered flag after the race was suspended.

Rossi appeared to have it won when he passed Pagenaud going into turn one with three laps to go. But Pagenaud, who led much of the early running and over half the 200-lap race, struck back and reclaimed the lead halfway around the penultimate tour. Rossi closed on the final lap but Pagenaud swerved dramatically from side to side to break Rossi’s tow, and the Penske driver won the sprint to the line by two-tenths of a second.

The pair were shadowed by Takuma Sato, who had shadowed them throughout the final laps after passing Josef Newgarden. Will Power made it three Penske cars in the top five.

Santinio Ferrucci was the first rookie home in seventh place overall, following Ed Carpenter. Ferrucci successfully avoided a five-car pile-up which brought the red flags out with 20 laps to go.

The crash was triggered when Graham Rahal and Sebastien Bourdais tangled into turn three, causing a shunt which Felix Rosenqwvist, Charlie Kimball and Zach Veach couldn’t help but get caught up in. Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan and Conor Daly completed the top 10.

The race was punctuated by a series of pit lane dramas. Jordan King knocked down one of his mechanics who had to receive medical treatment. Marcus Ericsson spun into the pit wall on one of his visits, causing a caution period. And Helio Castroneves ran into James Davison as the pair headed for thier pit boxes.

Rossi didn’t escape the drama either. He recovered from a slow pit stop earlier in the race when his refuelling rig malfunctioned. The fired-up driver was infuriated by the lapped Oriol Servia, who repeatedly moved to defend his position. Rossi gestured at his rival in anger as he finally made his way through.

2019 Indianapolis 500 highlights

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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15 comments on “Pagenaud wins Indy 500 with penultimate-lap pass on Rossi”

  1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    26th May 2019, 22:40

    Very good race by both Rossi and Pagenaud

  2. now that was a race. so many gutsy drives throughout the field and the last 15 laps were absolutely breathless, superb dogfight between Pagenaud and Rossi.

  3. Laurie said that this (i.e., 2019 “500”) was how Formula 1 races should be … IHHO. (As opposed to unceasing tire condition verbal hand-wringing … )

    1. Proud_Asturian
      26th May 2019, 23:22

      a circuit with mile long straights
      a circuit with no real straights

      yet both came down to the penultimate lap. quit complaining.

    2. @elchinero, which is being dominated by just two teams since 2014 (with drivers from Andretti and Penske having won the race every single time since then)?

  4. Quite the battle and finish by Rossi and Pagenaud! Great race as usual.

  5. better than monaco. even indy is better than f1

    1. It was no doubt a great race but its also an oval track. Overtakes aren’t everything and that Indy500 race was great one too (IE way better than average).

      Between seeing drivers drive a hard technicalroad track with little overtaking, and a relatively one with many, I would rather take the former. (so thank god that Indycar has road courses)

      1. What would help F1, I think, is making mistakes matter. Obviously they do at Monaco, but the pace was slowish and they were race this weekend. Too many tracks have so much runoff, no walls near the track, no sand, that mistakes don’t matter. I think the tracks are part of the problem.

  6. Brilliant race, brilliant drives by both Rossi and Pagenaud and a brilliant finish. Love this race..!

  7. Brilliant race Sunday, good weather and three very exciting races, even the NASCAR race was great.
    No complaints here :)

  8. Neil (@neilosjames)
    27th May 2019, 15:09

    Alonso may not have been racing, but I still thought about him when (Honda-powered) Rossi said that the difference between him and Pagenaud was ‘horsepower’…

  9. Yeah I heard that and thought the same thing, (he may be right)
    I’m sure Honda are not amused, but he was mightily PO’d the whole race…which is what made it so much fun.
    @Where did Sato come from, out of a magicians hat? :)

    1. It’s not that straightforward though. It might well be a strategic decision by Honda to sacrifice some horsepower for other gains.

      Chevy has more peak horsepower, but Honda has better low-end torque (meaning: better acceleration, an advantage on street and road courses) and better fuel economy. While Chevy is a bit faster on ovals over one lap Hondas can run longer stints allowing them more flexibility with strategy choices which over the length of the race negates (and then some) all the speed advantage that Chevy has. I expect Chevy to dominate qualifying on ovals yet the races could be a toss-up between Chevy and Honda – this time, the late caution has negated Honda’s fuel economy advantage but i don’t expect Chevy to be as lucky every time.

      And so far on road / street courses it’s advantage Honda 3:2.

  10. Not a bad payday for Simon, $2,669,529.00 for the win.

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