Palou completed third in a wild and unpredictable Nashville race, and has closed the hole to championship chief Will Power to 33 factors. Nevertheless, his Chip Ganassi Racing team-mates Scott Dixon – who won in Nashville – and Marcus Ericsson are solely six and 12 factors respectively in arrears of the Group Penske driver.
Provided that he is currently being sued by team owner Chip Ganassi for breaking the phrases of his contract and signing a take care of McLaren Racing, Palou was requested if he thought he would nonetheless get a good shot at defending his crown.
The 25-year-old ace smiled and stated: “Sure, 100%. I believe there’s loads happening however on the finish of the day, Chip might be tremendous glad if we win the championship.
“He needs considered one of his vehicles to win the championship. We can not all three win however he needs one automobile to win, so I don’t suppose I’m getting much less stuff or not a lot consideration than others. In any other case, I’d say it, to be sincere.
“So yeah, I believe we now have a good shot for positive.”
Ganassi, jubilant at Dixon’s triumph in opposition to the chances, additionally got here to congratulate Palou within the aftermath of the race, and the Spaniard stated it was the primary time the pair had had a personal second because the now notorious fallout final month.
“We didn’t actually have a chat one-to-one since then, however yeah, I imply, it’s good proper? We simply completed on the rostrum, it was a superb day, it was a superb day for the group total with Scott ending P1, so it was good. I’ve no points in any respect.”
Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Photograph by: Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images
Palou later clarified that they hadn’t beforehand had a direct interchange with one another since mid-July, however nonetheless had exchanged phrases.
“A dialog? Yeah. We spoke like after we see one another within the trailers and stuff, and it’s not like we keep away from one another.”
Requested if he was stunned to talk along with his group proprietor within the Nashville aftermath, Palou stated no.
“It’s not like final 12 months he can be glad if I completed high 5. High three, even when Scott hadn’t received the race, I believe he would come and congratulate. He’s glad he has a automobile on the rostrum.”
Concerning his championship prospects, Palou stated: “I believe we simply have to win, to be sincere. It’s OK to complete third and fourth and fifth and stuff, however we have to win. Most likely not the following race [Gateway’s World Wide Technology Raceway] as a result of it’s not my finest, however I have to win the final two races [Portland and Laguna Seca] to get an opportunity.
“So we’ll do the perfect, put together the perfect we are able to, however yeah, I believe the final two races are most likely our greatest alternative for the #10 automobile.”
Palou is the highest-ranked driver within the championship hunt with no win this 12 months, so to be solely 33 factors behind the chief and forward of two drivers who’ve received two races – Scott McLaughlin and Pato O’Ward – is testomony to his consistency.
“I believe we began the 12 months nice,” he stated. “We did numerous errors, and had a little bit of an unfortunate time at some races which price us numerous factors. However everyone has some unfortunate races, so I’m not stunned that we’re there as a result of we’ve been performing some nice outcomes.
“However I do know I have to win a race. And I do know it’s coming, I’ve religion that the work we’re doing is sweet, and a few races which might be coming are good for us. We received Portland final 12 months, so yeah, I’ve religion that we’re going to win one race this 12 months.”