Pagenaud hails ‘phenomenal’ McLaughlin

Simon Pagenaud and Scott McLaughlin in Practice 3

Indianapolis 500 winner Simon Pagenaud has heaped praise on his Team Penske rookie stable-mate Scott McLaughlin.

The 27-year-old scored a podium in just his fourth IndyCar Series race, achieved this month at Texas Motor Speedway, and is less than a fortnight from making his Indy 500 debut.

Speaking on the broadcast as Practice 3 took place earlier today (AEST), Pagenaud opened up on just how impressed he’s been with McLaughlin this year.

“You saw in Texas he was right there,” said the Frenchman.

“I think he has been spending a lot of time looking at videos, trying to understand how to drive this car.

“He’s phenomenal. The guy has got so much talent and is also a very nice guy, which makes for a great team-mate to have on the team.

“So that’s why the group works really well, the four of us, but I tell you what, this guy is going to be a pain in the arse later on.”

Pagenaud was just 28th in Practice 3, 11 spots behind McLaughlin. Will Power was the highest placed Team Penske driver in 15th, while Scott Dixon went fastest for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Pagenaud, 37, won the 2019 edition of the Indy 500 from pole position and took out the 2016 IndyCar Series title.

He and McLaughlin are seventh and eighth, respectively, in the 2021 standings.

Indy 500 practice continues tomorrow from 02:00 to 08:00 (AEST).

Pagenaud at Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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