Power keeps Rahal at bay to win Detroit Race 1

Power keeps Rahal at bay to win Detroit Race 1

31 May 2014 – Will Power fended off a charging Graham Rahal to win the first race at Belle Isle in the Dual at Detroit on Saturday. Coming from P16 on the grid, Power's Penske team employed a clever pit-stop strategy to get ahead of pole-sitter Helio Castroneves, and with some helpful caution periods, Power found himself leading the field with ten laps to go, and he never looked back.

After starting in P9, Rahal drove a flawless race, tracking down Power in the closing stages of the first Dual but ultimately being unable to get by on the bumpy road course. Satisfied with a rare podium finish, Rahal hopes to do one better tomorrow for the second race of the weekend.

Also finding his way to the podium was 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan. The Brazilian had started the race just in front of Rahal and managed to stay clean on several dicey restarts on the afternoon, finishing five seconds behind the American.

Fellow Brazilian Castroneves led the field to the green flag after stalling in pit lane at the start of the formation lap. IndyCar rules allow the car to resume its position if it can reach its rightful grid spot before the field completes one pace lap. With that hiccup out of his system, Castroneves led the first third of the race before two caution periods began to divide the field on pit strategy.

With many drivers originally opting for a three-stop strategy, a fascinating battle began to develop after Simon Pagenaud was squeezed into a wall by Power to bring out the first caution. The second one was thrown when Mike Conway, who was running in fourth at the time, understeered into the wall, ending his race. The dejected Bromley native climbed from his car and rested against the barrier, head in his hands and looking a little sore from the impact.

By the end of the second caution, all of the field had pitted except Rahal and Marco Andretti. Jack Hawksworth, who had been running P2 after jumping Hinchcliffe at the start, disappointingly saw his left front brake rotor break, so he was sent tumbling down the order and was soon five laps down. He would be one of several drivers to be stuck in pit lane for various mechanical reasons, thus pushing him out of contention.

Rahal was the first to pit on Lap 27, switching from black to red tyres, with Andretti following suit the next time around the Belle Isle circuit. It appeared that these two were going to attempt a two-stop strategy, unlike most of the rest of the field. This handed the lead to Power, who remained on a three-stop, albeit a few laps different than Castroneves. Helio would inherit the lead around the midway point of the race after Power pitted on Lap 31.

A few laps later, Josef Newgarden found his way into the tyre wall. In doing so, the standing water inside the rubber sloshed out on track, lengthening what would have been a short caution so the jet driers could clean the racing surface.

Around this point, it appeared that the two-stoppers would have the advantage since most of the leaders had pitted 20 laps earlier. By the time the track went green, numbers were being crunched up and down the pit lane to determine fuel loads and various permutations.

Some, like Ryan Briscoe, chose to bet on another caution coming late in the race, but when Mikhail Aleshin was spun by James Hinchcliffe with 15 laps to go, it looked like Briscoe and several others would fall just short of their fuel marks.

Castroneves had just made his stop on Lap 47, so the caution was actually quite detrimental to his strategy, but he managed to work his way back up to P5 by the end of the race. 

Will Power had pitted on Lap 54, just one lap before the last caution came out, which meant that he was soon back into the top five when the rest of the field pitted for the last time. When Briscoe stayed out and took the green flag on the restart, Power eventually managed to get around him (even though he knew Briscoe would have to pit).

By putting the Penske car between him and Rahal, Power was able to build a lead that turned out to be insurmountable, despite Rahal closing to within a couple of lengths after Briscoe pitted. Even having one more Push-to-Pass to use on the final lap, Rahal couldn't get by the Aussie and finished just 0.3s back as Power collected his second win of the year – thus awarding him second in the championship standings.

Championship leader Ryan Hunter-Reay started the race on the last row after hitting the wall in qualifying.  He led some laps after a long stint on black tyres, but he would only manage P16 at the chequered flag.

Race 2 of the Dual at Detroit will take place at the same time tomorrow.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 6 March 2015

  2. 16:58

    Photos: Caterham's Formula 1 journey

    F1
  3. Feature: Bidding farewell to Caterham 16:57

    Feature: Bidding farewell to Caterham

    Formula 1 lined up with 11 teams in 2014, but this year will see only 10 enter the championship. GPUpdate.net reflects on...

    F1
  4. Vișoiu graduates to GP2 with Rapax 15:38

    Vișoiu graduates to GP2 with Rapax

    Robert Vișoiu will make the step up to GP2 with Rapax in 2015, completing the team's line-up. The Romanian, 19, has spent...

    GP2
  5. 14:19

    Photos: Formula 1's new Safety, Medical cars

    F1
  6. Formula 1 gets new Safety Car for 2015 14:18

    Formula 1 gets new Safety Car for 2015

    Formula 1 will have new Safety and Medical cars for the 2015 season, in the form of the Mercedes-AMG GT S and Mercedes-AMG C...

    F1
  7. FIA considers new Formula 1 teams tender 13:01

    FIA considers new Formula 1 teams tender

    FIA President Jean Todt has suggested that the governing body could look at opening a tender for new Formula 1 teams in the...

    F1
  8. 11:53

    Photos: Melbourne gets ready for Formula 1

    F1
  9. Overview: Statistics from pre-season testing 08:50

    Overview: Statistics from pre-season testing

    With all three pre-season tests done and dusted, teams and drivers are now heading to Australia. Ahead of the first race,...

    F1
  10. Sauber confirms van der Garde lawsuit 08:15

    Sauber confirms van der Garde lawsuit

    Sauber has confirmed that Giedo van der Garde has taken legal action against the team. Van der Garde, who acted as...

    F1
  11. Video of the Day: Williams prepares for 2015 05:04

    Video of the Day: Williams prepares for 2015

    Williams gears up for the 2015 Formula 1 season with this promotional trailer, featuring its drivers.

    F1
  12. Thursday 5 March 2015

  13. Manor passes crash tests with updated car 18:46

    Manor passes crash tests with updated car

    Manor Marussia has been officially cleared to compete in next weekend's season-opening Australian Grand Prix, after passing...

    F1
  14. Speed joins Vergne at Andretti for Miami 16:20

    Speed joins Vergne at Andretti for Miami

    Andretti Autosport has confirmed that Scott Speed will make his Formula E debut at next weekend's Miami round, alongside...

    FE
  15. Manor in talks with 'quick young guys' 15:17

    Manor in talks with 'quick young guys'

    Manor's President and Sporting Director Graeme Lowdon says the squad is in discussions with a few 'quick young' drivers and...

    F1
  16. Weekend deadline for German Grand Prix 11:16

    Weekend deadline for German Grand Prix

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says that the future of the German Grand Prix needs to be resolved by this weekend,...

    F1
  17. Van der Garde takes legal action against Sauber 10:25

    Van der Garde takes legal action against Sauber

    Giedo van der Garde is taking legal action against Sauber, claiming that he was unfairly dismissed from the team with which...

    F1
  18. Stöckinger to make GP2 debut with Status 09:05

    Stöckinger to make GP2 debut with Status

    Status Grand Prix has confirmed that Lotus F1 junior driver Marlon Stöckinger will make his GP2 debut with the squad in...

    GP2
  19. Jaafar switches to Fortec for FR3.5 campaign 08:05

    Jaafar switches to Fortec for FR3.5 campaign

    Malaysian driver Jazeman Jaafar will race for Fortec Motorsports in this year's Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Jaafar made...

    FR 3.5
  20. Video of the Day: Ice driving with Rosberg 05:22

    Video of the Day: Ice driving with Rosberg

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg shows off his ice driving skills ahead of the new Formula 1 season.

    F1
  21. Wednesday 4 March 2015

  22. Manor confirms it will race in Australia 16:40

    Manor confirms it will race in Australia

    Manor has confirmed that it will return to competition and race in next weekend's season-opening Australian Grand Prix,...

    F1
  23. Pirelli names tyre choices for first four races 14:27

    Pirelli names tyre choices for first four races

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has announced its compound nominations for the first four races of the season in Australia,...

    F1
  24. Ricciardo answers GPUpdate reader questions 14:02

    Ricciardo answers GPUpdate reader questions

    Last month, GPUpdate.net gave readers the opportunity to pose questions to Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo. We picked out a...

    F1
  25. Marciello to get practice outing in Malaysia 11:26

    Marciello to get practice outing in Malaysia

    Sauber test and reserve driver Raffaele Marciello has announced that he will take part in the opening free practice session...

    F1
  26. Lotus pleased with engine, chassis gains 10:14

    Lotus pleased with engine, chassis gains

    Lotus Technical Director Nick Chester reckons the team is in a much stronger position this year with its new...

    F1
  27. Pons confirms Merhi for 2015 season 09:38

    Pons confirms Merhi for 2015 season

    Pons Racing has signed Roberto Merhi for the upcoming Formula Renault 3.5 campaign. The Spaniard, 23, made his series...

    FR 3.5
  28. F1 2015: How did each team fare at Barcelona? 08:12

    F1 2015: How did each team fare at Barcelona?

    After eight more days of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the pre-season period is officially over....

    F1
  29. Video of the Day: Red Bull driver photo shoot 05:04

    Video of the Day: Red Bull driver photo shoot

    Go behind the scenes at Red Bull's driver photo shoot with renowned photographer Michael Muller.

    F1
  30. Tuesday 3 March 2015

  31. Video: Red Bull puts UE Boom to the test 14:43

    Video: Red Bull puts UE Boom to the test

    After teaming up with Ultimate Ears last year, Red Bull decided to put the UE Boom to the ultimate test.

    F1
  32. Alonso to sit out Australian Grand Prix 12:13

    Alonso to sit out Australian Grand Prix

    McLaren has confirmed that Fernando Alonso will sit out the Australian Grand Prix in the wake of his testing crash at the...

    F1
  33. Force India braced for early regression 09:31

    Force India braced for early regression

    Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley says the squad is braced for a slow start to the 2015 campaign following the...

    F1
  34. Williams confirms Wolff's on track programme 09:24

    Williams confirms Wolff's on track programme

    Williams has confirmed the details of Susie Wolff's on track programme for the 2015 season. Wolff, who stepped up to the...

    F1
  35. Toro Rosso has performed 'as expected' – Key 08:42

    Toro Rosso has performed 'as expected' – Key

    Toro Rosso Technical Director James Key hailed a positive pre-season campaign for the Italian squad, believing that the new...

    F1
  36. Video of the Day: Berlin ePrix launch 05:24

    Video of the Day: Berlin ePrix launch

    Highlights from the launch event of Formula E's Berlin ePrix, which will take place later this season around the grounds of...

    FE
  37. Monday 2 March 2015

  38. Arrivabene urges concentration at Ferrari 15:42

    Arrivabene urges concentration at Ferrari

    Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene has emphasised that the Italian outfit must remain disciplined as it prepares for...

    F1
  39. Renault 'quietly confident' ahead of Australia 14:14

    Renault 'quietly confident' ahead of Australia

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says the French power unit supplier is 'quietly confident' ahead of the opening...

    F1
  40. FIA confirms clampdown on helmet changes 13:08

    FIA confirms clampdown on helmet changes

    Formula 1 drivers will be restricted to just one helmet design per season after a proposals put forward by figures inside...

    F1
  41. Final Barcelona pre-season test in numbers 11:01

    Final Barcelona pre-season test in numbers

    The final pre-season test at Barcelona saw Nico Rosberg and Mercedes top the timesheets, and Sauber lead the mileage stakes....

    F1
  42. Vettel expecting close fight behind Mercedes 10:52

    Vettel expecting close fight behind Mercedes

    Sebastian Vettel says he expects a close fight between Williams, Red Bull and his Ferrari team this year – albeit some way b...

    F1
  43. Mick Schumacher to race in German Formula 4 10:45

    Mick Schumacher to race in German Formula 4

    Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael, will make his car racing debut in German ADAC Formula 4...

    Misc
  44. Pons Racing parts company with Tunjo 10:33

    Pons Racing parts company with Tunjo

    Formula Renault 3.5 outfit Pons Racing has confirmed that it has parted company with Colombian youngster Óscar...

    FR 3.5
  45. 09:57

    Photos: Red Bull presents RB11 livery

    F1
more news