Indianapolis 500 winner Pagenaud ended up ending runner-up to Newgarden within the ultimate factors standings after coming house fourth on the Monterey monitor, because the latter secured his second IndyCar crown with a cautious run to eighth place in a race gained by Colton Herta.
However a victory for Pagenaud at Laguna would have as an alternative resulted in him clinching the title, assuming Newgarden didn’t end any increased up the order.
After vaulting from sixth to 3rd on the first spherical of pitstops, Pagenaud appeared well-placed to assault Scott Dixon for second, however the Chip Ganassi Racing driver was capable of maintain agency regardless of quite a few makes an attempt by Pagenaud to cross on the Andretti hairpin.
Pagenaud stated within the closing phases that he knew he could not afford to trigger a warning interval and expose factors chief Newgarden to dropping down the order.
Requested if he felt Penske’s total technique had hampered his private title hopes, Pagenaud replied: “By no means. Truly it was the opposite means.
“I believe I had full assist from [team president] Tim Cindric, and Roger [Penske], even Josef himself, Will, and so they had my full assist, as properly, on the opposite aspect.
“On the finish, it was like, do not create a yellow. That might be an issue for Josef, so I had that in my head. They advised me about it. I had it in my head, I am like, I’m not punting Dixon off, so I needed to attempt to cross him clear.
“You realize, on my aspect, TC [Cindric] advised me the mission is to go ahead and attempt to win the race. So I used to be just about free to do no matter I wished.
“After I bought round Josef, I took the skin as a result of I did not wish to put him in danger. I wished him to present him the selection to do no matter he wished, and I did not wish to danger him.
“So I went towards the skin, and he gave me the room, so I went round, took as a lot room as I may to keep away from getting him in hassle. From then on, my purpose was to go ahead and attempt to catch individuals, which we did.
“Mission completed, besides I did not win the race, however mission completed as a result of we have been one and two within the championship. That was to me an ideal Penske technique at present.”
Simon Pagenaud, Crew Penske Chevrolet
Photograph by: Scott R LePage / LAT Photos
Earlier within the race, Pagenaud handed Alexander Rossi in a forceful transfer at Flip four, shortly after the Andretti Autosport man exited the pits after the primary spherical of stops.
The Frenchman admitted that he was ready to make the cross “at any value” and successfully make sure the title battle was all the way down to himself and Penske teammate Newgarden.
“The mission was to be forward of Rossi, so I used to be going to be forward of Rossi at any value,” he stated.
“He got here out of the pits, he was on chilly tires, I used to be on heat tires, I went to the within, he blocked. I used to be like, man, you are blocking, I am going for it. And I believe he knew that.
“I used to be able at present that I had nothing to lose. I did not actually care if I used to be going to be third or fourth within the championship, to me it was both second or first.
“So my mission and the Crew Penske mission was to be forward of Rossi to lock it in for the group. I used to be going to do it in any respect prices.”
Pagenaud additionally praised his Penske stablemate Newgarden, and stated that the American driver “completely” deserved the accolade of two-time IndyCar champion.
“I believe he had probably the most constant season,” stated Pagenaud of Newgarden. “He was quick when he needed to be. He took care of his personal future, and he was positively – he had the championship from the primary race. I believe he was probably the most deserving man to win it this yr.
“I like personally working with Will and Josef as a result of we push one another and enhance one another each session. Each race I really feel like I am a greater driver than I used to be in Portland.
“Josef actually deserves it. I believe he was one of the best championship driver this yr, and his crew did a terrific job, too, and Crew Penske was one of the best group. Very comfortable for them for positive. We’ll see what we are able to do subsequent yr, come again and attempt to beat them.”
Josef Newgarden, Crew Penske Chevrolet, Simon Pagenaud, Crew Penske Chevrolet
Photograph by: Artwork Fleischmann