Simon Pagenaud took 'a lot of risks' to win sodden Indy GP
Indianapolis Grand Prix race winner Simon Pagenaud says he had to take what he described as 'a lot of risks' en route to the top step of the podium - his first since Sonoma 2017.
The Team Penske driver was the fastest competitor on the track in the latter stages of the race, sometimes to the tune of two seconds a lap as the rain began to lash the circuit, allowing him to make up several positions.
On the penultimate lap of the race, Pagenaud made the move for the lead into the Turn 7-8-9 complex after reigning series champion Scott Dixon made a mistake; the Kiwi was then left defenceless against the Frenchman's pace as he tore around the outside of the Ganassi driver.
Having started outside the Firestone Fast Six, Pagenaud spoke about how felt he had to grab every opportunity to move forward while he could in the wet conditions.
"I took a lot of risks for sure," said the Frenchman. "Maybe more than Dixon needed to take some risk because we were in a position where I can take some risks right now and the car was so good that I just gave it 100 percent, 100 percent every lap.
"Honestly in the last two laps to go, I almost started out saving second, and then all of a sudden I realised, wait, I've got too much pace for this, and we caught Scott by a lot, and I guess you call it the penultimate lap, the one before the last, and when I realised that I had a shot, but I was out of Push-to-Pass, so my only chance was to get him on the infield.
"But quite frankly, none of the passes I made I planned. I just drove with full instinct mode, and it worked out.
"It's just a lot of fun in the rain. But I honestly didn't know if we were going to be good. It very much depends on your car, too, in the wet, but I felt like I had to seize my opportunity, and I definitely had the right mix and used it."