Simon Pagenaud got 'grey hair' from Texas Alexander Rossi battle

Simon Pagenaud says that his late battle with Andretti's Alexander Rossi over second place in the Texas IndyCar race gave him "grey hair"

Simon Pagenaud got 'grey hair' from Texas Alexander Rossi battle

Pagenaud became the lead Penske driver as the team struggled with tyre blistering in Saturday night's race.

The 2016 IndyCar champion remained in the top five, which eventually became the lead lap cars throughout the majority of the race, but came under pressure from Rossi after Will Power and Zachary Claman de Melo crashed and caused a caution on lap 205 of 243.

Once the lead cars had taken their final stop for tyres and fuel, Pagenaud twice had to prevent Rossi from going around the outside as he finally broke the tow to finish second.

I was just trying to manage the balance," he said. "We had to keep up with the tyres, keep up with the balance of the car throughout the stints and also relay to the pit what you needed for the next one.

"I had a lot of good battles, especially with Alexander at the end. He gave me some grey hair in the last 30 laps, but we managed to hold him off.

"I knew he was really strong off [Turn] 4. I knew he was getting really good restarts also. The way the Honda restarts [is] really strong, I knew I had to cover the inside. I knew I wouldn't have a chance on the outside. I tried earlier, it didn't really work.

"My car was working really well on the shadow line [darker middle lane]. That helped me out.

"I got aggressive with [Rossi] to hold him off because he was super-fast behind. I tried to do everything to break the draft Helio [Castroneves]-style. He taught me a lot on that."

Pagenaud's second at Texas was his first podium of a so-far difficult 2018 season.

He is now eighth in the points, 128 behind championship leader and Texas winner Scott Dixon, but said he took solace from Penske team-mate Josef Newgarden coming back from a poor start to 2017 to claim last year's title.

"It's never over anyway," said Pagenaud. "We saw last year, Newgarden really started his momentum mid-season, went on and won the championship.

"I did the same last year really, I started really doing a good job in Toronto.

"This year's been a tough start. There were a lot of unknowns [with the new car]. Got taken out a few times, which hasn't happened in the past.

"From then on, luck always turns around. It goes by cycle.

"Now it's about executing. Myself, everybody on the team, really executed well [at Texas]. It's a good example of what we need to do every weekend."

shares
comments
IndyCar Texas: Wickens blames lapped Carpenter for crash

Previous article

IndyCar Texas: Wickens blames lapped Carpenter for crash

Next article

Will Power explains Texas IndyCar crash with Zachary Claman de Melo

Will Power explains Texas IndyCar crash with Zachary Claman de Melo
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Drivers Alexander Rossi , Simon Pagenaud
Author Tom Errington
The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed Plus

The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed

Often unfairly characterised as a car-breaker, judged for his lack of an Indianapolis 500 win and a disappointing part-season of Formula 1 in 1993, Michael Andretti was highly respected by his rivals and only thwarted greater success by ill-fortune. When it all came together in 1991, he was a truly formidable force

IndyCar
Mar 6, 2021
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021
The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete Plus

The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indycar game-changer that won its third Indianapolis 500 five years after its debut

IndyCar
Dec 22, 2020
Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough Plus

Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough

Josef Newgarden feels he didn't put a foot wrong in 2020, yet his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield a third series championship. But in a warning shot to Scott Dixon, Team Penske's team leader has vowed to redouble his efforts in 2021

IndyCar
Dec 21, 2020
How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season Plus

How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season

Three wins on the trot gave the Chip Ganassi Racing superstar the cushion he needed to hang on for a sixth title in the face of Josef Newgarden's late challenge. Here's the rundown of a typically frantic IndyCar campaign in an extraordinary year

IndyCar
Nov 28, 2020
The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy Plus

The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy

Calls for an improvement in the racing spectacle at the Indianapolis 500 have been met with small aerodynamic tweaks from IndyCar on superspeedways. But where such high speeds are involved, even minor adjustments require significant planning

IndyCar
Oct 31, 2020