Penske IndyCar drivers impressed by strong rookies in 2020
Two experienced IndyCar drivers Will Power and Simon Pagenaud are impressed with the crop of rookie drivers in the 2020 season.
The 2020 IndyCar field is not without a strong freshman class, with ECR's Rinus Veekay stunning the paddock with daring moves and remarkable results, DCR's Alex Palou repeatedly displaying incredible pace, and Arrow McLaren SP's Oliver Askew putting forward oval prowess akin to that of a seasoned veteran.
All three of the aforementioned rookies have starred on the podium at least once in the course of this truncated season, all with equally marvelous performances. And, though his classification in numerous IndyCar events in 2019 ensured he not technically be considered a rookie for this season in its entirety, Arrow McLaren SP driver Patricio O'Ward has shone perhaps more so than the rest, with his rookie of the year finish in the Indy500, and countless performances elsewhere.
It's a group of youngsters considered more competitive than any in years prior in IndyCar, only matched - if at all - by the fields in 2019, and other years in the years immediately before and after the American open-wheel 'reunification' of CART and IRL.
"The rookies again this year have been very impressive," Team Penske's Will Power began as he addressed the strong presence in the field whilst talking to media including FormulaRapida.net. "Alex Palou, Pato [O'ward] who is not a rookie but pretty much is. They're all quick. Rinus VeeKay [too]. I know I'm missing one there, I feel bad. There's one other guy who is really fast. They've been very impressive with the limited running we have.
"The IndyCar field just seems to get tougher every year. Get these young guys in, barely 20, and already right on the pace. [They] have 20 years of racing ahead of them. It's good. I love racing against the young guys. I even go back and I'll race karts against the 15, 16-year-old guys just to embarrass myself amongst some aggressive, fast kids.
"It's good to see," the Australian said, his Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud adding, "There's been a lot of great driving [this year] Colton was winning in Mid-Ohio. Pato has been tremendous in a lot of IndyCar races. The young guys coming up, it's interesting to see them, how they handle their cars."
[This story was written by me for FormulaRapida and edited by Darshan Chokhani]