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Palou shocked IndyCar rivals didn’t use his profitable tyre technique in Indy GP

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Palou began third in his Chip Ganassi Racing entry however was into the lead earlier than the tip of the primary lap, having taken benefit of the additional grip from the red-sidewalled Firestones.

He went on to steer 52 of the 85 laps, and was capable of outpace polesitter Christian Lundgaard of Rahal Letterman Lanigan after which the Arrow McLaren of Pato O’Ward to attain his fifth IndyCar victory, and his first of the season.

“We knew beginning on the alternates we would have liked to go laborious and try to get the lead as quick as attainable,” mentioned the 2021 champion. “I feel the alternates had two, three laps that they had been so much higher. Afterwards, you type of bought caught behind.

“I attempted [to pass Lundgaard] in Flip 1. He went actually aggressive. It was proper, it was excellent what he did, however yeah, I wished it to be one thing simpler! We had been capable of get it on the final nook. That was good.”

On this three-stop race, Palou’s tyre sequence was recent alternates, new primaries, used primaries, new primaries. He mentioned the selection for ending in that method was to make sure he had good grip within the occasion of a late warning interval.

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Requested if it shocked him that others hadn’t carried out the identical, he responded, “It did, it did. For us it was clear.

“We had been struggling just a little bit greater than among the guys on used reds within the warm-up [session]. However nonetheless it is not like they had been wonderful. We knew that we did not wish to use used reds. That is why we began on new alternates, attempt to get the lead, attempt to get an enormous hole, like two, three, 4, seconds, then work on our tempo on blacks. As soon as I noticed the beginning grid with the tyres, we had been like, ‘OK, we’re in a great place.’

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda Jack Harvey, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photograph by: Brett Farmer / Motorsport Images

“Nonetheless, you need to do it. Should you get caught behind Lundgaard on reds, you are carried out, your race is over, since you’ll have extra tyre deg, not get the advantage of leaping 4 seconds, then you definitely’re at all times caught in site visitors on the identical technique as his… We knew that since observe, actually, that is why we wished to begin on reds. I used to be shocked that not different individuals on the entrance began on reds.”

Within the closing laps, as his predominant pursuer O’Ward light on the reds, Palou stretched his benefit to over 15 seconds. With reference to the place his benefit lay, Palou mentioned: “We had extra velocity on sector two, Turns 7-8-9-10 on the blacks. On the reds, I used to be nonetheless struggling in comparison with them. We had been nonetheless good there. We made one tenth and a half to 2 tenths. Then we had been actually shut within the different areas.

“It is usually like that. It is powerful to do an enormous distinction in Flip 1. All people brakes on the similar spot. Being such a slow-speed nook, all people does the identical driving lane. Turns 7-8-9 was the most important distinction.”

Palou has now moved into the championship lead, six factors forward of O’Ward and 19 forward of his personal Ganassi team-mate Marcus Ericsson.

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