How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival?
Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? David Malsher-Lopez reports.
Scott Dixon, six-time and reigning NTT IndyCar Series champion, was intrigued by what he observed during offseason testing, as he scanned the data of his new teammate Alex Palou. There was ‘another way’ to drive the current breed of IndyCar, the IR18 complete with universal aerokit and now with the altered weight distribution caused by the addition of the aeroscreen. Dixon realized that Palou, having joined the series at the same time as the new cockpit safety device was introduced, came in without presuppositions, his instincts untainted by memories of the car in its pre-aeroscreen form. He only ever ran one test for Dale Coyne Racing without it.
In testing for Ganassi, Palou was almost immediately on Dixon’s pace and in one test, when comparative fuel loads and tire wear were taken into account, he was faster than the master. Not by much, but then the margins even between the great and the merely good are pinched tighter in IndyCar these days than ever before. Looking at the Q1 groups in qualifying at Barber last weekend, if one ignores the two drivers who had their best qualifying times deleted because they caused red flags, along with outlier journeyman Dalton Kellett, and Jimmie Johnson who is still coming to terms with his truly alien environment, the remaining 20 cars were covered by 1.2sec.
At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.
Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes
Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.
Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.
A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...
The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there? By David Malsher-Lopez.
After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...
Tino Belli, IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development, believes the changes to the underside of the cars will allow them to run closer at Indy and make passes. The moment of truth comes on its biggest stage, writes David Malsher-Lopez.
Dixon predicts "hell of a fight" with IndyCar teammate Palou
40 percent crowd capacity allowed for this year’s Indy 500