San Francisco Chronicle
Palou back in IndyCar lead — Laguna Seca next week
Alex Palou recovered from first-lap trouble at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway on Sunday to win for the third time this season and reclaim the IndyCar points lead.
The second-year IndyCar driver had lost a 42-point lead to Pato O’Ward in two races.
The start was nearly disastrous as Palou and his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate Scott Dixon hurtled toward the first turn on the road course.
Felix Rosenqvist appeared to clip Dixon, causing Dixon to lock his brakes as he and Palou rode side-by-side. Neither Ganassi car was going to make the turn and both followed Rosenqvist through a runoff to avoid crashing.
The off-course adventure dropped Palou to 17th and Dixon to 18th when the race restarted on Lap 11. O’Ward led 28 laps but the Ganassi drivers slowly moved back into contention. Palou had returned to the lead and was out front for two restarts in the final 20 laps.
He takes a 25-point lead over O’Ward into next week’s road course race at Laguna Seca in Salinas.
Formula One: A simmering battle in Formula One erupted in spectacular fashion as championship leader Max Verstappen and defending champion Lewis Hamilton crashed out of the Italian Grand Prix, which was won by McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.
As both Hamilton and Verstappen fought for position midway through the race in Monza, their cars came together in a move that could have seriously injured Hamilton. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff went as far as describing it as “a tactical foul” by Verstappen.
“In football you would call it a tactical foul,” Wolff said. “He knew that if Lewis stays ahead, then that is the race win.”
The stewards gave Red Bull driver Verstappen a three-place grid drop for the start of the next race, the Russian GP on Sept. 26.
Verstappen kept his championship lead, which he had extended to five points by coming second in the sprint Saturday.