The actual IndyCar star F1 should be chasing as Alex Palou wins again at Road America

The Spaniard saved his best to the end of the race to pass Colton Herta and take victory


Alex Palou’s NTT IndyCar Series lead has now grown to more than 70 points after another masterful victory at Road America.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver should really be talked about as the next Indy star to head to Formula 1 full-time as he breezed past a wounded Colton Herta, the current man in F1‘s crosshairs, with less than 10 laps to go.

It’s his third win of the season after he won in Detroit last time out and there appears to be no chinks in the Spaniard’s armour no matter what gets thrown at him.

His remarkable comeback to fourth at the Indy 500 proved the fight within and whenever he’s been out front, nobody has been able to stay with him at numerous different circuits across North America.

McLaren already has him as one of their test and reserve drivers but they won’t need a new wheelsman in F1 unless Lando Norris decides to move on amid their F1 struggles this season.

Sneaky Scott’s classic drive

Many of the regulars found themselves coming in behind Palou with Josef Newgarden second, albeit several seconds back, ahead of Pato O’Ward who completed the podium.

Most impressively, though, Scott Dixon came home fourth and only fractions behind O’Ward after a crash, which was totally his fault, with Will Power in FP2 gave him a mountain to climb in the race.

And in typical Dixon fashion, he did just that, sneakily going from 23rd on the grid to fourth and looking really quick throughout.

Herta brought his ailing Andretti Autosport car home in fifth ahead of Marcus Ericsson and Christian Lundgaard, who started to repair some of Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s Indy 500 pain.

Scott Dixon 2023 Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America | Penske Entertainment: Karl Zemlin

Rapidly re-paved

The Road America surface was relayed for the 2023 season and the increase in speed was simply staggering. Alexander Rossi said on his podcast (Off Track with Hinch and Rossi) that he expected four or five seconds of improvement over the longest lap on the IndyCar calendar.

And he was right. Last year’s fastest qualifying lap set by Herta was 1:44:4038 but this year the Andretti Autosport man did a 1:40:5476.

In some corners, the cars were going 10mph faster than they were a year ago and the signs all came when the track record was broken within minutes of first practice starting.

Quick it may have been but there were plenty of incidents with grip very high in some places and very low in others. Romain Grosjean’s race was curtailed early on and there were incidents for Jack Harvey, David Malukas and off-track moments for Callum Ilott, Sting Ray Robb, Marcus Armstrong and Felix Rosenqvist too.

1Alex PalouChip Ganassi Racing
2Josef NewgardenTeam Penske
3Pato O’WardArrow McLaren
4Scott DixonChip Ganassi Racing
5Colton HertaAndretti Autosport
6Marcus EricssonChip Ganassi Racing
7Christian LundgaardRahal Letterman Lanigan
8Scott McLaughlinTeam Penske
9Kyle KirkwoodAndretti Autosport
10Alexander RossiArrow McLaren
Joe Ellis
Joe Ellis is a motorsport journalist with experience working in BTCC. He is the resident IndyCar correspondent for and a top class F1 writer.
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