Pagenaud wins rainy Grand Prix
Simon Pagenaud ended his victory drought Saturday with a splashy move — complete with rooster tails.
The Frenchman made a daring pass through three turns on the second-to-last lap and sped away from Scott Dixon for his third IndyCar Grand Prix victory and first series win since the 2017 season finale at Sonoma. Pagenaud beat five-time series champion Scott Dixon by 2.0469 seconds.
After qualifying eighth, barely avoiding a loose tire from teammate Josef Newgarden during the race and running out of push-to-pass time during a pass of Jack Harvey for second, the Frenchman pulled off the victory.
“I can’t believe it,” Pagenaud said. “Awesome. What a race. I want to thank Team Penske, everybody that supports me. This is the sweetest win I’ve ever had.”
Team Penske has won five straight races on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.439-mile, 14-turn course and Pagenaud and Will Power remain the only drivers to ever win the race. Power also has three wins.
It’s the first time this season an IndyCar team has won two races.
Dixon led for most of the second half of the 85-lap race and still led by more than 6 seconds when Pagenaud started his incredible run. He moved into fourth with 15 laps to go, passed Matheus Leist with 11 to go and managed to weave his way around Jack Harvey, leaving only Dixon in front of him.
Pagenaud chased him down then passed him by going wide into the seventh turn, bumping wheels with the New Zealander.
Bottas takes pole in Spanish Grand Prix
Valtteri Bottas is poised to become a major threat to teammate and defending Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton after clocking a scorching lap at the Spanish Grand Prix to take his third consecutive pole position on Saturday.
Bottas smashed Hamilton’s track record at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit in qualifying, finishing the 4.6-kilometer (2.5-mile) track in 1 minute, 15.406 seconds to better Hamilton’s mark from 2018.
More importantly for Bottas’ hopes in Sunday’s race was the gap of more than half a second over Hamilton’s best effort.
With Hamilton second on the grid, Mercedes is in great position to extend its record start after the pair swept the top two spots at the first four races.
Bottas, who failed to win a race last season, leads Hamilton by one point in the standings after they have alternated places in their run of one-two finishes.
“I really enjoyed that adrenaline rush from those laps,” Bottas said. “It started well, this season. Just the way I hoped for. I am feeling better and better in the car.”
Hamilton praised his teammate, who after two years as a second fiddle has emerged as the No. 1 challenger to stopping him from winning a sixth world title.
“Valtteri did a fantastic job. He has been quick all weekend,” said Hamilton, who took pole in Spain in the previous three years.