Alex Palou (Sant Antoni de Vilamajor, Barcelona, 25 years old) decided some time ago to leave the fold installed in Europe and that leads most of the kids who are fond of karting to become obsessed with reaching Formula 1. After going to race to Japan jumped at the opportunity offered by the Chip Ganassi team, packed their things and unpacked them in the United States. Last year, this kid who is always smiling became the first Spaniard to be crowned IndyCar champion.
This Sunday (18:30, Movistar), Palou has many numbers to end up with indigestion. Nobody in their right mind would mix a pitcher of whole milk with a barrel of fried chicken, the particular prize he gives himself every time he wins. If he eats that explosive combination, the boy will have become the first Spaniard to win the Indianapolis 500, one of the most popular races in the world.
In this test everything is special. Not only because the champagne that the winner uncorks is replaced by milk, in a tradition with almost ninety years of history. But for everything that surrounds it and represents it. Despite being part of the Indy calendar, the 500 Miles have their own entity, a feeling backed by the fact that they are part of what is known as the Triple Crown: the honorary title given to whoever is able to win an edition of the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and in the 500 Miles. Until now, the only one capable of achieving the feat was Graham Hill.
Palou’s options are many if we take into account that he arrives as the champion of the contest and that he will start second, behind Scott Dixon, one of his teammates. The Catalan, who crossed the finish line second in the last edition, occupies second place in the general classification of the event and appears as one of the most solid and consistent members of the grid. That will be the key to a race that, in most cases, is not decided until the last lap, and in which slipstreams and traffic are decisive.
“We know we have a good car. We have gone from less to more throughout the sessions and I, personally, have improved a lot in my driving through traffic”, recognized Palou this same Friday, in what is known as Carb Day, a basically promotional day. Despite having five cars, Chip Ganassi will not be able to establish a too closed choral strategy either, because in the Speedway from Indianapolis, one cannot be two things away. “If you get lost, several pass you, and overtaking has become very difficult because everything is very tight”, emphasizes Palou.
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