Alex Palou says he is feeling less pressure to succeed in the NTT IndyCar Series after his move to the title-winning Chip Ganassi outfit.
Palou’s sophomore season will see him drive the coveted No.10 car left vacant by Felix Rosenqvist after the Swede moved across to Arrow McLaren SP.
In his first IndyCar campaign, spent with Dale Coyne Racing, the Spaniard claimed a maiden podium at the first of the two races at Road America en route to 16th in the overall standings.
Despite the pressures which often come with a top team, the 24-year-old is relaxed about the opportunity which lies ahead of him.
“Pressure has been with me since I was six years old and I started racing in go-karts,” said the Spaniard.
“That pressure of winning, you have it every year. It’s not changing now. I feel less pressure now. I have the car to do it. I have the people to do it. It’s not the pressure of doing something crazy.
“The guy I’m going to race with, Scott Dixon, he won four races last year. They are giving me the resources to do it, so it’s up to me.
“The pressure of winning, that’s racing, and you have to win to be able to race another year. That’s been always with me, and it doesn’t change this year.
“If so, it makes it a bit easier just because it’s the first time in my life that I am in a big team.”
Palou added that the presence of Dixon, and Ganassi’s driver coach Dario Franchitti, has assisted him in adapting to new surroundings.
“It’s really good to have a driver coach in the team, but it’s also better to have a champion driver coach in the team,” added Palou. “He’s amazing. He has so much experience.
“We’ve already been working a lot during all the testing. Just the way that he understands racing and all the experience he has helps a lot to be able to translate to the team personally everything that I feel or everything that I need. I think it’s really good.
“I try to speak with them all the time. All the time. I try to speak with them on the phone. I say, ‘Man, what are you doing today? What are you eating? What are you drinking?’ Just to know what the champions are doing.
“These guys have been winning for the past 20 years, and they’ve been winning like important races. It’s amazing.”