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 28 November 2014

  2. 18:34

    F1 2015: How the grid is shaping up

    F1
  3. Marko: Abu Dhabi test proved Sainz Jr. is ready 18:22

    Marko: Abu Dhabi test proved Sainz Jr. is ready

    Red Bull Motorsport Consultant Helmut Marko says Carlos Sainz Jr.'s performance at this week's post-race test in Abu Dhabi...

    F1
  4. Sainz Jr. joins Verstappen at Toro Rosso 17:05

    Sainz Jr. joins Verstappen at Toro Rosso

    Toro Rosso has confirmed that reigning Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion Carlos Sainz Jr. will make his Formula 1 debut...

    F1
  5. F1 2014: The best radio messages 16:58

    F1 2014: The best radio messages

    One popular aspect of modern Formula 1 is the interaction between drivers and teams during races. Although selective, radio...

    F1
  6. 14:46

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  7. Miller concludes positive test in Malaysia 14:33

    Miller concludes positive test in Malaysia

    LCR Honda's Jack Miller was encouraged by the progress he made in adapting to MotoGP machinery during a three-day test at...

    MotoGP
  8. Video: Buemi surprises Renault owner 13:31

    Video: Buemi surprises Renault owner

    Red Bull reserve driver Sébastien Buemi surprises a Renault owner at the Circuito de Jerez.

    F1
  9. Ricciardo: No added pressure for 2015 11:40

    Ricciardo: No added pressure for 2015

    Daniel Ricciardo says he does not feel any added pressure for the 2015 season, after impressing in his first campaign with...

    F1
  10. Wolff steps up to Williams test role 09:16

    Wolff steps up to Williams test role

    Williams has announced that Susie Wolff will be stepping up to the position of official test driver for the 2015 Formula 1...

    F1
  11. Nasr: Sauber did not choose me for money 06:14

    Nasr: Sauber did not choose me for money

    Felipe Nasr says Sauber's decision to sign him for the 2015 season was based on driving ability, rather than how much money...

    F1
  12. Video of the Day: Hamilton in slot car race 05:09

    Video of the Day: Hamilton in slot car race

    F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton takes part in a slot car race with BBC Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw.

    F1
  13. Thursday 27 November 2014

  14. Vettel: Ferrari success will take time 16:47

    Vettel: Ferrari success will take time

    Sebastian Vettel says he is under no illusions about the challenge he faces at Ferrari, admitting that it "will take some...

    F1
  15. Hülkenberg to race at Le Mans with Porsche 15:32

    Hülkenberg to race at Le Mans with Porsche

    Nico Hülkenberg will compete in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans with Porsche next year alongside his ongoing Force India...

    F1
  16. Räikkönen: Arrivabene is the perfect team boss 14:05

    Räikkönen: Arrivabene is the perfect team boss

    Kimi Räikkönen reckons new Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene will propel the Italian marque towards the front of the F...

    F1
  17. Video: Räikkönen joins the logistics race 12:07

    Video: Räikkönen joins the logistics race

    Ferrari logistics partner UPS takes Kimi Räikkönen behind the scenes at its WorldPort facility.

    F1
  18. Kubica heads Monza Rally entry list 11:43

    Kubica heads Monza Rally entry list

    Ex-Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica, MotoGP star Valentino Rossi and NASCAR's Kurt Busch are the major names on the entry list...

    Misc
  19. Toro Rosso to name second driver on Monday 10:13

    Toro Rosso to name second driver on Monday

    The driver joining Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso for the 2015 season will be revealed on Monday, Red Bull advisor Helmut...

    F1
  20. Nasr thanks Williams for 2014 opportunities 09:27

    Nasr thanks Williams for 2014 opportunities

    Felipe Nasr has thanked Williams for the opportunities he was given as the team's test and reserve driver during the 2014...

    F1
  21. Pirelli pleased with reaction to 2015 tyres 06:14

    Pirelli pleased with reaction to 2015 tyres

    Pirelli says it is "very pleased" with the feedback it has received from drivers over the new 2015 tyres it brought to this...

    F1
  22. Video of the Day: 2014 Formula 1 highlights 05:02

    Video of the Day: 2014 Formula 1 highlights

    Relive highlights from the 2014 F1 season, in which Lewis Hamilton claimed his second world title.

    F1
  23. Wednesday 26 November 2014

  24. 16:49

    F1 photos: Abu Dhabi testing - Day 2

    F1
  25. Lynn delighted with maiden Formula 1 test 16:48

    Lynn delighted with maiden Formula 1 test

    Newly-crowned GP3 champion Alex Lynn described his first experience of F1 machinery as "fantastic", after testing for Lotus...

    F1
  26. Marciello: Impossible not to think of Bianchi 16:28

    Marciello: Impossible not to think of Bianchi

    Raffaele Marciello says fellow Ferrari academy driver Jules Bianchi was at the forefront of his mind as he made his Formula...

    F1
  27. 14:38

    Post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test: Day 2 results

    F1
  28. Wehrlein fastest as Abu Dhabi test concludes 14:37

    Wehrlein fastest as Abu Dhabi test concludes

    Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein topped the timesheets on the final day of testing at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit,...

    F1
  29. Vergne announces Toro Rosso exit 14:26

    Vergne announces Toro Rosso exit

    Jean-Éric Vergne has announced that he will not be racing for Toro Rosso in Formula 1 next season, with Red Bull bosses...

    F1
  30. Marko: Vettel's Ferrari visit breached contract 12:12

    Marko: Vettel's Ferrari visit breached contract

    Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has claimed that Sebastian Vettel breached his contract by making an early appearance with new...

    F1
  31. Force India trials 'Info Wing' display system 10:04

    Force India trials 'Info Wing' display system

    A revolutionary LED display system, designed by Lewis Hamilton's father Anthony, was tested by Force India in Abu Dhabi on...

    F1
  32. Video: Lewis Hamilton surprises karter 09:06

    Video: Lewis Hamilton surprises karter

    Lewis Hamilton surprises nine-year-old karting champion Harley Haughton on BBC Radio 5 live, just hours after he was crowned...

    F1
  33. Ecclestone says Qatar 'ready' for F1 race 08:45

    Ecclestone says Qatar 'ready' for F1 race

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone says Qatar is planning to host a Grand Prix in the near future. If negotiations lead...

    F1
  34. Bottas: New Pirelli tyres more consistent 07:42

    Bottas: New Pirelli tyres more consistent

    Valtteri Bottas says he experienced "more consistent" tyre degradation on Pirelli's development 2015 rubber at this week's...

    F1
  35. Video: Stewart on Hamilton's title win 05:04

    Video: Stewart on Hamilton's title win

    Sir Jackie Stewart offers his views on Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton's title-winning 2014 campaign.

    F1
  36. Tuesday 25 November 2014

  37. Leal remains with Carlin for 2015 18:36

    Leal remains with Carlin for 2015

    Carlin has confirmed that Colombian racer Julián Leal will remain with the team for the 2015 GP2 season. Leal, 24, has...

    GP2
  38. 17:28

    F1 photos: Abu Dhabi testing - Day 1

    F1
  39. Honda says rivals faced same early issues 17:27

    Honda says rivals faced same early issues

    Honda says the teething problems it is facing at this week's Abu Dhabi test are no different to those endured by rival...

    F1
  40. GP2 champion Palmer eyes Force India role 16:11

    GP2 champion Palmer eyes Force India role

    GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer says he would like to occupy a role in Formula 1 with Force India, after testing for the team in...

    F1
  41. 14:23

    Post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test: Day 1 results

    F1
  42. Bottas tops first day of Abu Dhabi test 14:22

    Bottas tops first day of Abu Dhabi test

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas set the standard on the opening day of the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test at the Yas Marina...

    F1
  43. McLaren-Honda targets immediate success 12:52

    McLaren-Honda targets immediate success

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier says the team will be targeting success from the very first race of its new engine...

    F1
  44. Lynn to make F1 test debut with Lotus 12:08

    Lynn to make F1 test debut with Lotus

    GP3 champion Alex Lynn is set to make his Formula 1 test debut with Lotus on the second day of this week's post-season...

    F1
more news