Chip Ganassi’s Alex Palou, the 2023 NTT INDYCAR Series champion, is wearing a different driver suit this year. With the DHL sponsorship moving to his team, the new Dad is proud to be sporting the new colors.
The Spaniard was asked if he could repeat the great season he had in 2023.
“Yeah, obviously. We’ve done it once, so we can do it twice. But it’s going to be tough. It’s
always tough to repeat such a special and magical season like what we had with, yeah, five wins. It’s crazy.”
“When I look back to see the races in a row that we got suddenly with starting the month of May, getting the pole at the Indy 500 and then we went to Detroit and Mid-Ohio and
Road America, it just felt magical.”
“Yeah, it’s going to be tough to repeat or to be close to that. But we’ve done it once, so yeah, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to do it twice.”
The champion was asked about the increased IndyCar car count at this team for 2024.
“I would say that if you don’t really know how big the organization is, you could say, oh, man, adding one car or two cars, it’s a big change. But we have 180 people at the workshop. We have different series and different people that has expertise here and there. Getting five really good IndyCar mechanics, it’s not tough, out of 180 people, and you can add five more.”
“I don’t believe there’s disadvantages apart of headaches that Chip might have apart of putting one more trailer or I don’t know how he’s going to do it. But in terms of the
team performance, I don’t really see it. It might change. It might be a disadvantage. But I don’t think so.”
“If we can have 20 more laps out of free practice, it just adds on — I remember in Detroit having Armstrong and Ericsson and Dixon and myself, we only had like four laps, and if you add one more car, it might be five, and you get so much data for the next day, and you can get a little bit of an advantage.”
“Yeah, I think even if Linus is half rookie and Kyffin is completely rookie, they are always going to be able to give us some good data and some resources to try and improve the car performance and driving, as well.”
Asked where he wants to see himself in five years, Palou answered, ” I want to be here with you guys. With Ganassi. ”
Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Graham Rahal is looking forward to a good season after a dismal start in 2023 which improved after the Indy 500.
“Yeah, I think we finished the year quite strong. I think in the last nine races or so, Toronto on, we had four poles as a team, which was pretty good. So I feel like there is good momentum. I think in the off-season we’ve been able to do some great things as well.
Sponsorship-wise, see Hendrickson really step up with the 15 car is a great thing; to announce 5-Hour Energy yesterday was a huge thing not only for the sport — not only our team, but the sport to get them back into racing in general.”
“Good momentum there. A lot of changes at our team. A lot of new engineering changes and new people to the sport, period.”
“Then naturally, having Pietro in has been a great addition I feel like to our IndyCar program. He’s a great kid. Brings a lot of experience, too, and I think he’s going to be a plus for us.”
“I do feel like it’s been a good off-season. I think everybody is pretty locked in. I think everybody is very focused on what’s ahead. We know our challenges. I know I’m going
to get asked about Indy, but it is — that’s behind us now, and I think we’ve found a lot that’s going to help us as we go forward, and we’re going to continue to work very hard
in that regard.”
“But I’m excited about 2024 and looking forward to what’s ahead.”
“It’s been great working with 5-Hour Energy. That’s been a deal we’ve been working on for quite a long time, but it’s not only huge for the team, but like I said, for the sport and
motorsports in general.”
“To get 5-Hour back is a huge deal. I am really excited about that.”
Juncos Hollinger’s Agustin Canapino is back for his second season with the team. The 15-time touring car champion in Argentina is looking forward to the 2024 season.
” I am really excited, especially by the way we finished the season because we were battling for a podium on the last race in Laguna just before the crash. We were fourth, and we were in a really good position to battle for the race.”
“We had really good moments during the year. We achieved decent results for our first season in INDYCAR. We entered the leader circles with the two cars. First time ever Juncos had two cars in a season, first time ever for me, so I’m really happy with the season so far.”
“But we want more, and I think we have a really good opportunity this year to continue our improvement, continue both with the team and especially with Romain in the team.”
“I think we have a really good opportunity to learn from him everything and continue this process.”
Lucille Dust reporting live from Indianapolis