It’s a day to remember for Alex Palou and Monaco Increase Management as the 2021 Indycar series winner, who has been managed since 2018 by the Monaco-based company, took his fifth win in the championship with a dominating drive from P3 from starting grid to P1 through the finish line. Palou now leads the series’ points standings with 174 points vs. Pato O Ward’s 168 and Marcus Ericsson’s 155. This result adds up to Palou’s winning finishes in Alabama, Road America, Portland (2021) and Laguna Seca (2022) and confirms that the 26-years old ranks among the strongest and most consistent drivers of the current era.
“Honestly” Palou said right after he and his #10 CGR car had been lifted to the Speedway podium “we knew that we had a very strong car going into his race, and starting on the Red /soft) tires gave us confidence for the win at the end”.
Yet, the 85-lap race on the infield had proven to be a treacherous event in the past. The weather was clement this year but Palou had to force his way through the leading pack at the start, passing both Lundgaard and Harvey to take the lead and dictate the pace. He then served his first pit-stop on lap 18, and shortly after rejoining the track he came under attack from Lundgaard. Letting the Dane through was part of the team’s strategy though, as Palou was saving fuel and tires for the subsequent race stints. His second pit call came on lap 42 and hallway through the race he was able to pass Lundgaard and regain the lead. His third and last refuel and change to a set of hard rubber came with 25 laps to go. At this time, only misfortune (similar to the events that prevented him to taking a dominating win in last year’s 500) could have robbed Palou of a more than deserved race win. And actually, his margin of victory over second-placed Pato O’ Ward was a stunning 16.8 seconds, an adequate follow-up to last September’s commanding win in Laguna Seca. The winner’s average speed was 115.234 mph (that’s 185.411 Kph); Alexander Ross came in third behind O’Ward while Lundgaard, who had depleted all of his push-to-pass seconds early in the race, was fourth.
In addition to the 50 points for the race win, Palou collected three more for leading laps and as a result he now is the new series leader. A position that may be challenging for some drivers, but Alex has already proved in the past that he can withstand the pressure of success as the Indycar circus prepares to the legendary Indy 500 qualifying week, to be followed by the iconic race in two weeks’ time. And Monaco Increase Management is ready to give Alex Palou its full support.