Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Alex Palou and Marcus Ericsson have cleared the air after making contact during last Sunday’s Road America IndyCar race that deeply angered the Spaniard and left his No. 10 Honda last in the results.
The incident at Turn 5, where Ericsson dived down the inside of Palou at the last moment and saw the Swede’s right-rear wheel clash with Palou’s left-front, ended with a broken steering arm on the No. 10 car and Ericsson’s No. 8 Honda undamaged.
.@alexpalou is off-track and the yellow flag is out again for this incident between teammates.
The defending @roadcamerica race winner is done for the day.
— NTT INDYCAR SERIES (@IndyCar) June 12, 2022
Fiery comments aimed at Ericsson were offered by Palou shortly after returning to the pits, but with more time to cool down — and having seen the replays of the contact and his response — the reigning NTT IndyCar Series champion says he isn’t happy with how he handled the situation.
“We didn’t see each other on Sunday, but Marcus called me on Monday and everything is fine,” Palou told RACER. “I think my reaction was not a good reaction, obviously, as everybody could see. It’s not like you can have an opinion on it. The reaction was not good.
“Normally a contact like that, it doesn’t even peel a sticker off the car. So it was not intentional from Marcus, for sure. There was nothing wrong with that pass.”
The Ganassi team finds itself leading the championship with Ericsson, Palou’s in fifth — a drop of one position due to the poor Road America result — and Scott Dixon in sixth at the halfway point in the season. Ericsson’s grand win at the Indy 500 aside, Palou and Dixon continue to hunt for their first victories of the year but the 25-year-old is confident the other CGR entries aren’t far away from trips to victory lane.
“We had an amazing start of the year with my car until the month of May, which was not so good,” Palou added. “The car was super fast, but we did not get the results we could have gotten. We started P3 at Road America, but they give the points on Sundays. Like, there are a lot of things that happened that were frustrating, but they were bad things that happened; it’s not like we beat ourselves.
“It’s just about time that everything will start to go on our way. It’s still early in the season, and we know we have the pace. I’m not really concerned. Obviously, I would prefer to be the one leading the championship by 50 points instead of being behind almost 50, but still, it’s not a lot of points to make up. We just need to start winning. We’ve been to the podium three times, and that means you’re doing your job.”
Overtaking Team Penske, the dominant team so far in 2022, is Palou’s primary goal.
“It has been a very good year for Penske to win five out of the first eight races,” he said. “That’s impressive, but we’ll get them. We’ll get them.”