In the round-up: IndyCar leader Palou says winning the title won’t determine a change of scenery for 2024.
Palou’s future still unknown as F1 remains an option
Alex Palou says he is still several months away from determining where he will race next year, and that could involve moving from IndyCar to Formula 1.
Palou leads the IndyCar standings by 72 points, the biggest margin anyone has held since 2020, approaching the season’s halfway point. He has won three of the last four races and conducted an F1 test with McLaren, though his next such outing will not be until after the IndyCar season concludes in September.
He is out of contract for 2024 and has been heavily linked to joining McLaren’s IndyCar squad, but Palou also has an eye on reaching F1 and his current boss Chip Ganassi wants to hold on to him as long as possible. When will the decision be made for next year?
However Palou doubts his results will influence his plans. “I don’t think that by winning more races, we will get one seat or the other seat, or one seat in F1. I don’t think getting different results will affect our season for next year.
“I think already what we did in 2021 was a big accomplishment that I’m really happy of; winning my first championship in my second season in IndyCar. So I don’t think that what we’re doing this year, it’s very different from what we did in ’21. So I don’t think it’s going to change it.”
AlphaTauri ‘didn’t get strategy right’ in Montreal – drivers
AlphaTauri head to the Red Bull Ring this weekend having finished no higher than 12th in the last four races and at the bottom of the constructors’ standings. The team got neither of its cars into Q2 at the Canadian Grand Prix. Yuki Tsunoda finished 14th and Nyck de Vries was a lapped 18th in the race.
“I enjoyed the Montreal experience, but as a team, we were lacking a bit of performance on track and we also didn’t execute the best weekend on all fronts,” said de Vries. “Me personally, but also together with the team, didn’t always make the right calls and decisions, and that ultimately resulted in an uncompetitive weekend and no points on the board.”
Tsunoda said the team “weren’t able to put it all together”, which “was a shame as we probably had the pace to score points”.
“I tried to recover as much as possible [from starting 19th] and we knew that we had to be aggressive with race strategy. Maybe we didn’t get it quite right, but I feel there are a lot of things we can learn from that weekend, and we won’t make the same mistakes in the future.”
WEC Hypercar line-up changes for Monza
Further changes to the Hypercar entry have been announced for the next round of the World Endurance Championship, the Six Hours of Monza.
Glickenhaus Racing have confirmed Roman Dumas and Olivier Pla will remain in the American team’s car after contesting the first four rounds of the season, while Nathanael Berthon replaces Ryan Briscoe to form an all-French line-up.
Meanwhile Proton Competition’s Porsche 963 will also finally be in action, with the trio of Gianmaria Bruni, Neel Jani and Harry Tincknell they announced some time ago.
Evans optimistic despite Jaguar’s slump
Jaguar’s Mitch Evans dropped back in the Formula E title race at last weekend’s Portland EPrix, coming through from 20th to finish fourth while title rivals Nick Cassidy and Jake Dennis finished first and second.
“We had a plan for the race and executed it pretty well. I know it sounds crazy, after starting 20th and finishing P4, but I think it could have gone a little bit better,” said Evans, who is now 32 points behind leader Dennis with four races to go in Rome and London.
“I’m looking forward to Rome, but obviously it’s a different game in ‘Gen3’, as we saw in Jakarta. We won there last year and this year we really struggled. In the last few races I feel like we’ve not had the pace as in previous races, but we’re going to Rome with high hopes and good memories.
“It’s coming to that part of the championship where you have to be perfect and execute clean races, but I’m ready for it.”
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On this day in motorsport
- 20 years ago today Ralf Schumacher won the European Grand Prix at the Nurbugring ahead of Williams team mate Juan Pablo Montoya, after an engine failure ended Kimi Raikkonen’s race