MIM driver after final practice: "I am really happy with the car, the balance and the speed"
Monaco Increase Management driver Alex Palou concluded on Friday his preparation for next Sunday's 106th running of the Indianapolis 500. This is Palou's third attempt in the iconic oval race: on his first one, in 2020, he was bumped out of the race after a solid qualifying and race performance; and last year, in the season that eventually graduated him as the series champion, he fought right down to the wire for victory with to Helio Castroneves, crossing the finish line in second place by less than half a second margin.
This year, both Palou and CHR team have left no stone unturned to make sure that the #10 car is in a winning form for Sunday's grueling 200-lap event. The final stage of the preparation took place on Friday, May 27, with the traditional "carb day" which marks the end of the tuning-up for all the 33 contenders. Palou had a busy week comprising a fully-packed media day and all sort of promotional activities, while never losing his focus on the forthcoming race. Tipically, 'Car Day' is not about sheer speed, but rather concentrating on achieving the best possible understanding of the car and its potential. WIth the session being delayed due to a slight rain, Palou waited for the sky to clear before putting on a total of 49 laps of the 2.5 mile Indiana speedway, with a best average lap speed of 225.435 miles an hour which accounted for P14 on the time sheets. Interestingly, Alex's best 'speed with no tow' would have put him in fifth place, meaning that the car's pace was really strong, irrespective of the speed that can be reached by getting a slipstream from a faster car in traffic.
And at the end of the day, Palou was really happy with the overall performance. “We were lucky with the weather at the end", commented the 25-years-old Spanish driver. "The car is still behaving as it has been the past week. I’m really happy with the car, the balance and the speed. I can’t wait for racing now. Hopefully, we can get the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda car in victory lane.”
And when the green flag is waved on Sunday, Palou will have two very special fans following him live, as Monaco Increase founder and CEO Salvatore Gandolfo and Senior Advisor Daniele Audetto have joined him in Indianapolis for this very special weekend!