Alex Palou

Palou sees off Power and Lundgaard for Indianapolis Grand Prix victory


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Reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou scored his first victory of the season from pole position, but it was not a straightforward afternoon for the Ganassi driver.

Palou had a clear edge on pace over his rivals, but faced a strong threat from Christian Lundgaard at the start of the race and Will Power at the end.

Lundgaard surprisingly claimed the lead on the first lap despite starting the race on the harder primary tyres while Palou favoured the softs. The Ganassi driver attempted a forceful defence at turn one but ran too deep, allowing Lundgaard to duck around the outside of turn two and claim the inside line for the following bends.

From there Lundgaard held his lead throughout the opening stint. The race appeared to be slipping away from Palou when the pair pitted together and came out in the same order – only for Power to split them.

However Palou was content to bide his time in the second stint, getting his run on the primaries out of the way and minimising his time loss as he did so. Lundgaard and Power caught traffic at the end of the stint, and Power dived for the pits a lap before the RLL driver. He might have captured the lead, but encountered Marcus Ericsson at the end of his out-lap and Lundgaard scampered out of the pits narrowly ahead of the pair.

Palou, however, stayed out a lap longer and jumped the pair of them. With Lundgaard having to spend a second stint on primaries, he fell over five seconds behind the Ganassi driver while Power filled his mirrors. The trio pitted as one on lap 63, and Lundgaard lost precious time having to swerve around Power on his way out, losing second place to the Penske driver.

Luca Ghiotto’s retirement from his second IndyCar start triggered the race’s sole caution period on lap 66. Power made an immaculate restart, forcing Palou to defend hard, but was edged wide at turn one and with that his hopes of taking victory were gone. Palou pulled away to win by over five seconds while Lundgaard stalked Power to the flag.

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Palou’s Ganassi team mates Scott Dixon and Marcus Armstrong completed the top five, and Scott McLaughlin made it three New Zealanders in a row. The Penske driver was the biggest winner from the race’s sole caution period, as he was already in the pits as Ghiotto ground to a halt.

Colton Herta, who arrived at Indianapolis in the lead of the championship, was always going to be a strong candidate for an alternative pit stop strategy after qualifying 24th. He was also sent wide by team mate Ericsson shortly after the start, so he made an early first pit stop on lap 12 to discard his primaries and ran three stints on fresh alternates to haul himself back up to seventh. However it wasn’t enough to prevent Palou taking over at the top of the points standings.

Alexander Rossi was the first McLaren driver home in seventh. Team mate Pato O’Ward joined him in taking a fresh engine, but his had to be fitted after a failure in final practice, and he struggled all race long with a lack of grunt as he sank from fifth to 13th.

Behind them were Graham Rahal and Felix Rosenqvist, completing the top 10, the latter recovering from a poor start. Kyle Kirkwood was 11th ahead of Romain Grosjean, who was infuriated at being sent off-track by Santino Ferrucci at the start.

Josef Newgarden endured a poor afternoon, finishing 17th after tangling with Jack Harvey at the restart.

Race result

P. No. Driver Team Engine
1 10 Alex Palou Ganassi Honda
2 12 Will Power Penske Chevrolet
3 45 Christian Lundgaard RLL Honda
4 9 Scott Dixon Ganassi Honda
5 11 Marcus Armstrong Ganassi Honda
6 3 Scott McLaughlin Penske Chevrolet
7 26 Colton Herta Andretti/Curb-Agajanian Honda
8 7 Alexander Rossi McLaren Chevrolet
9 15 Graham Rahal RLL Honda
10 60 Felix Rosenqvist Meyer Shank Honda
11 27 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Honda
12 77 Romain Grosjean Juncos Hollinger Chevrolet
13 5 Pato O’Ward McLaren Chevrolet
14 30 Pietro Fittipaldi RLL Honda
15 4 Kyffin Simpson Ganassi Honda
16 28 Marcus Ericsson Andretti Honda
17 2 Josef Newgarden Penske Chevrolet
18 18 Jack Harvey Coyne Honda
19 6 Theo Pourchaire McLaren Chevrolet
20 20 Christian Rasmussen Carpenter Chevrolet
21 78 Agustin Canapino Juncos Hollinger Chevrolet
22 41 Sting Ray Robb Foyt Chevrolet
23 66 Tom Blomqvist Meyer Shank Honda
24 8 Linus Lundqvist Ganassi Honda
25 51 Luca Ghiotto Coyne Honda
26 21 Rinus VeeKay Carpenter Chevrolet
27 14 Santino Ferrucci Foyt Chevrolet

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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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4 comments on “Palou sees off Power and Lundgaard for Indianapolis Grand Prix victory”

  1. Congrats Palou! The professor of precision. F1’s loss is IndyCars gain.

  2. I did not follow the lastest news on Palou’s and McLaren contract dispute, but it seems he made a very good decision (although costly) on staying at Ganassi given McLaren performance this year in Indycar and his nearly zero-chance on replacing Oscar or Lando in F1 any time soon.

    1. That’s true. However, if Lando or Oscar ever eat a bad fish or brake a leg, damn it will be a pity not having Palou as a reserve driver. An IndyCar champ of his caliber in a winning F1 car would be fantastic. The last one we had was Montoya.

  3. I wish we could have a filter or dedicated F1 home page, so I could avoid seeing these spoilers. Yeah, it’s on me (it happened like 10 times with this site already). but I always forget about it due to different time zones etc. (I’ve never watched an Indy race live). And I have that silly habit of opening this site from time to time…

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