The 2021 IndyCar champion discovered himself within the battle for victory on the 1.5-mile oval earlier than in the end shedding out to eventual winner Josef Newgarden, who took the win by 1.2s from Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward.
Palou, whose remaining pitstop had come 25 laps earlier than these of Newgarden and O’Ward, commented: “I did not know they have been on new tyres on the finish; [the team] did not inform me – which was good!
“My automotive was quick, I am tremendous completely satisfied to be right here on the rostrum for the primary time. I’ve bought some confidence on ovals, and it was a enjoyable race.
“IndyCar did a fantastic job with the downforce ranges and stuff, so super-happy to be right here. We did not actually have the pace of the #5 [O’Ward and the #2 [Newgarden] however we’ll prepare for the following one.”
Requested if it was the very best oval race of his profession, he responded: “100%, I feel it was the primary one which I might drive how I needed, after which I might assault and I knew what I used to be doing.”
Patricio O’Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet
Picture by: Brett Farmer / Motorsport Images
Whereas Palou hailed his efficiency, O’Ward impressed throughout the center portion of the race with the McLaren driver placing nearly all of the sector a lap down earlier than a succession of warning intervals.
However when an extended full-course warning allowed Newgarden to make modifications to his Penske entry, the pair appeared evenly matched. A good battle within the final dozen laps, additionally involving Palou’s Honda-powered Ganassi automotive, was ended early when Romain Grosjean’s Andretti Autosport automotive hit the wall on the penultimate lap and introduced out the yellow with Newgarden’s automotive lower than two-tenths forward of the McLaren.
O’Ward, who now leads the championship with a brace of runner-up finishes, commented: “It has been a hell of a begin to the 12 months. The blokes gave me an absolute rocketship. All people who was watching the race halfway by means of noticed that.
“It was an absolute pleasure to drive, and I assume we’re nonetheless ready for that win this 12 months after two second locations. However that is a fantastic begin to the championship, and that is what we want and we’ll preserve chipping at it.”