Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content


Global Global
Practice report
IndyCar Detroit

IndyCar Detroit: Palou leads O'Ward in opening practice

Two-time and reigning IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou led opening practice at the Detroit Grand Prix.

Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Palou, winner in Detroit last year, propelled his #10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda to a flying lap of 1m01.7210s on the softer alternate tires to set the pace in the session.

The quick lap came during the first group and rookies segment, which came in the 15 minutes after the all-cars portion.

“It was busy,” Palou said. “I went to visit the runoff areas a couple of times here and there; just trying to find the limit and the grip of the track.

“[The] track is grippier; grippier than last year. I think we were only like two seconds faster than when we did practice one last year. Pretty happy. The car feels good so far.

“Obviously, we have still half of a grid to run those alternates but yeah, pretty happy.”

Arrow McLaren’s Pato O’Ward, fresh off a heartbreaking runner-up spot in the Indianapolis 500 last weekend, ended up second overall on the timesheets – first in the split cars second group – at 0.0105s behind Palou's leading effort.

Colton Herta switched off the harder compound late in the group running from the all cars segment but had enough pace to end up third overall, nipping Andretti Global team-mate Kyle Kirkwood late with a lap of 1m01.7968s (0.0758s behind Palou).

Kirkwood managed to make a late jump in the first group to vault to fourth overall at only 0.0893s behind.

Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin was fifth, ahead of team-mate and recently crowned two-time Indy 500 winner Josef Newgarden in sixth.

Colton Herta, Andretti Global w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Colton Herta, Andretti Global w/ Curb-Agajanian Honda

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

Santino Ferrucci ended seventh in the #14 AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet, with Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Armstrong in eighth. Team Penske’s Will Power was ninth, with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Christian Lundgaard taking the final spot of the top 10.

One of the two red flags came out with six minutes left in the first group of the split cars session, after Ed Carpenter Racing rookie Christian Rasmussen stalled off course while running ahead of Palou. He was handed a five-minute time penalty as a result.

The second was with the biggest, and only, shunt, which happened in the second group and rookies portion of the split cars segment, with Dale Coyne Racing’s Jack Harvey making contact with the inside wall of Turn 7 and pounded the outside wall at the corner’s exit. The damage was severe as the right-front was destroyed and he was forced to step out of the car. He was running 26th out of 27 cars at the time of the incident.

When the opening 45 minutes ‘all cars’ segment began, it was Christian Lundgaard setting the early pace and holding it for the initial 16 minutes. The Dane rolled around the 1.645-mile, nine-turn temporary street circuit in the heart of Motor City with a stout lap of 1m03.6125s on the harder primary compound.

However, it wasn’t long before Herta jumped to the top with a run of 1m03.0957s as the running order or the top five became a revolving door.

Palou responded with a 1m02.7778s lap, but only temporarily as Herta responded with a 1m02.0219s to return back to the top spot at the 20-minute mark. He held the time for the rest of the segment that was solely run on the harder primary tyre compound.

Power did go to second with a lap of 1m02.4474s, which was 0.4255s off the mark set by Herta.

There were multiple drivers that went off, with Turn 8 causing trouble for the likes of Dixon, Kirkwood, Lundgaard, O’Ward, Palou and Alexander Rossi.

During a stack up near the end of the segment, Kirkwood was tagged in the right-rear by Newgarden going into Turn 6. There was slight cosmetic damage to the front wing of Newgarden, but both continued without issue.

IndyCar Detroit GP - FP1 results

Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval Mph
1 Spain A. Palou Chip Ganassi Racing 10 31


2 Mexico P. O'Ward Arrow McLaren 5 30



0.0105 95.932
3 United States C. Herta Andretti Global with Curb-Agajanian 26 31



0.0653 95.830
4 United States K. Kirkwood Andretti Global 27 20



0.0135 95.809
5 New Zealand S. McLaughlin Team Penske 3 33



0.2856 95.369
6 United States J. Newgarden Team Penske 2 32



0.1418 95.151
7 United States S. Ferrucci A.J. Foyt Enterprises 14 32



0.0900 95.014
8 New Zealand M. Armstrong Chip Ganassi Racing 11 30



0.1030 94.857
9 Australia W. Power Team Penske 12 30



0.0167 94.832
10 Denmark C. Lundgaard Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 45 31



0.0252 94.794
11 Argentina A. Canapino Juncos Hollinger Racing 78 31



0.0967 94.647
12 New Zealand S. Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing 9 26



0.1314 94.449
13 United States G. Rahal Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 15 35



0.0228 94.414
14 Sweden M. Ericsson Andretti Global 28 34



0.0280 94.372
15 United States A. Rossi Arrow McLaren 7 30



0.1022 94.219
16 Sweden F. Rosenqvist Meyer Shank Racing 60 30



0.0493 94.145
17 Brazil P. Fittipaldi Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing 30 34



0.0207 94.114
C. Rasmussen Ed Carpenter Racing
20 38



0.0236 94.079
19 France R. Grosjean Juncos Hollinger Racing 77 29



0.0752 93.966
20 France T. Pourchaire Arrow McLaren 6 39



0.0917 93.830
21 United States K. Simpson Chip Ganassi Racing 4 42



0.0359 93.777
22 Brazil H. Castroneves Meyer Shank Racing 66 30



0.0830 93.653
23 Netherlands R. van Kalmthout Ed Carpenter Racing 21 34



0.0864 93.526
R. Robb A.J. Foyt Enterprises
41 30



0.1801 93.260
25 Sweden L. Lundqvist Chip Ganassi Racing 8 40



0.0768 93.148
26 United Kingdom J. Harvey Dale Coyne Racing 18 25



0.6894 92.149
27 France T. Vautier Dale Coyne Racing 51 34



0.3556 91.641

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Pietro Fittipaldi is fueled by 5-Hour Energy and lots of carbs 
Next article IndyCar Detroit: Herta tops FP2 as Ferrucci and Kirkwood clash

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content


Global Global