Winning more races won’t necessarily lead to F1 seat – Palou

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In the round-up: IndyCar leader Palou says winning the title won’t determine a change of scenery for 2024.

In brief

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?

“I don’t know, honestly I don’t know, but that day will come,” Palou said to media including RaceFans. “Maybe in two months, three, four I don’t know.”

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.

De Vries reckoned AlphaTauri’s strategy wasn’t spot-on
“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.

Romain Dumas/Olivier Pla/Ryan Briscoe, #708 Glickenhaus 007, Le Mans 24 Hours, 2023
Glickenhaus now has an all-French crew
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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Comment of the day

Helmut Marko has revealed that the AlphaTauri Formula 1 team will change name in 2024, just four years after dropping its original name Toro Rosso. That was an Italian translation of Red Bull, while AlphaTauri is the name of Red Bull’s own fashion brand. All of its other businesses have the name Red Bull in them, so what will the team rebrand to?

Actually surprised how badly Red Bull/AlphaTauri fumbled this identity so badly. I don’t feel this has anything to do with the car’s performance on track and everything to do with the identity – or lack of, with the team.

AlphaTauri has a great logo that fits with Red Bull’s brand, a defined colour/livery style with metallic blue and white and instead of advertising the drink it advertises Red Bull’s clothing brand. But the clothes themselves are bland, uninteresting and ludicrously overpriced. The brand comes across cold, corporate and lacking energy, personality or character. AlphaTauri did a poor job of advertising it’s own product

I felt that turning into its own identity diverged from Red Bull was a good step but it’s been handled so badly and is disappointing as it feels it was never given the opportunity, tools or individual style to distinct itself in the first place.

Happy birthday!

No RaceFans birthdays today

On this day in motorsport

Kimi Raikkonen led but retired, handing a home win to Ralf Schumacher today in 2003
  • 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

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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9 comments on “Winning more races won’t necessarily lead to F1 seat – Palou”

  1. I love this WEC survey option: “All WEC events should be increased to 24 hours like Le Mans.”

    Why stop there? How about a 48-hour endurance race? Or a whole week? If modern 24-hour races have become essentially flat-out sprint races, wouldn’t a week-long race that truly tests the endurance of the cars be more in the spirit of the discipline?

    To be honest, I wouldn’t mind 45-minute sprint races added to WEC events, either. These are some magnificent cars — why not take every opportunity to see them in wheel-to-wheel action? Plus, a qualifying session for a sprint race would have real stakes, much more than qualifying for a 24-hour race. Or, make it championship-order reverse grid. It’s a BoP formula anyway — giving slower cars a leg up is built into the system. It’s not like there’s any purity to compromise.

  2. The strategy might’ve failed, but De Vries didn’t help matters with that clumsy unforced error at T4.

  3. I do wonder how De Vries season would have panned out had he taken the Williams drive instead of AlphaTauri

  4. Why Andretti’s climb to F1 just got steeper (Racer)

    The frustration that Michael Andretti (pictured above) had when his plans with Andretti Cadillac were announced earlier this year was that opposition from the majority of the existing 10 teams was “all about money”– and he was right. Whether or not it was also “greed,” as he mentioned at the time, was up for debate then, and has this week been shown to not be correct.

    Not that I’m further criticizing Andretti for comments made six months ago with the benefit of hindsight now

    If Andretti hadn’t already seen, what the F1 teams had seen – which is that the F1business is on a steep upslope for the assessed value – then he’s a business fool.
    I think he knew the most likely future being that a buy in later would be costly, and was pushing hard to get in before the values went up.
    Buying Sauber failed because of two factors:
    1. Various advice to Sauber was that selling at that point would not reap the financial gain that a later sale would do
    2. Andretti seemed to want total control and apparently wouldn’t give assurances that the home base wouldn’t move and people currently employed wouldn’t immediately/rapidly lose their jobs.

    The latter is seen by Sauber as part of their duty of care to their immediate employees as well as the network of 3rd party organisations supplying them.

  5. If Liberty Media wants to modernize and make F1 more of a show why stick to old teams. Let new teams arrive and create an enviroment like Red Bull in 2005 so called “party team” We need new blood in the field. Don’t worry if they fail. Then you got a whole two new seasons of drive to survive stories to tell! Imagine a team full of “americana”. Let’s say like Andretti. Huge boost for your own country. The most important thing as they say behind the ocean. More over less (quantity over quality)

    1. Let new teams arrive

      Lots of people would love to be in Formula 1 and fail (in sporting terms) at it.

      Because that entry alone is worth a lot in a series with limited entries and guaranteed profits created by the existing team and commercial rights holder make it only more alluring.

  6. Regarding the Alpha Tauri news story on the change of their design philosophy and name in 2024, I am sure it’s been mentioned before, but what are the limits on sharing components, chassis design, etc now?

    What does a separate team have to provide themselves, independently, under the latest rules?

      17.3 Listed Team Components (LTC) + Appendix 5

      1. Thank you, I think. A little light reading. I think I need a concise version ;-)

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