Monaco, December 21 – During his stay in the Principality of Monaco, MIM driver Alex Palou was mainly stationed at the management company’s headquarters; but he also found time to pay a visit to the nearby Automobile Club de Monaco, where the reigning Indycar champion was welcomed by President Michel Boeri and Commissaire General Michel Ferry and appointed an honorary member of the most prestigious Automobile Club in the world. He was accompanied in his visit by MIM founder Salvatore Gandolfo and members of the company’s board, including senior advisor Daniele Audetto.
During the visit and the subsequent lunch, Alex also took some time to comment on his last racing season with the local media. Here are some excerpts of the interviews:
“The native of San Antoni, near Barcelona, became the 14th Ganassi champion. By his own admission, “the team and management played a big part” in the quest for the title, as well as the experience he has gained since arriving on American soil. Alex Palou insists: “We were still learning since it was my second year in IndyCar, so I had to learn new tracks. We had 16 races this season and I had only raced on 8 or 9 of them. It was a very good year of learning, we were strong and very consistent throughout the season.”
The 24-year-old’s season started off with a bang as he won the opening race in Alabama. This victory set the tone for the future and the former GP3 Series champion built his success on his excellent results. “We knew at the beginning of the year that we could fight for the title. There were maybe ten other drivers who could have won the championship, but we knew we had the tools to get in the fight,” he admits.
Alex Palou believes the other teams may not have seen him coming. “We also knew that the other teams and drivers didn’t have us under radar because we were coming from Europe and had driven in Japan. They hadn’t noticed us but it was a good thing! We didn’t have so much pressure or eyes on us, so we could just focus on racing and get some good results.” And he adds with a smile: “Next year, they may keep an eye on us.”
If he is now champion, the Ganassi driver keeps a little regret from his season. It all happened in Indianapolis in mid-May, when Helio Castroneves won the legendary 500 miles for the fourth time. Despite taking second step of the podium, Alex Palou says: “I think this is the only race where you are angry to finish second. In the other races there can be disappointment but you are still happy to be on the podium. Winning the Indy 500 would have been amazing.” He will have a new chance to win the famous race on May 29th, on the same dates as the Monaco Grand Prix.