Will Power: “Simon was going to be tough to beat”

Will Power - Credit: Chris Jones / IndyCar

Will Power felt Simon Pagenaud would have been difficult to beat to the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series title, even without his challenge coming to a faltering halt with a gearbox issue that left him eight laps down.

Power went into the series finale at the Sonoma Raceway as Pagenaud’s only challenger for the title, but with the Frenchman winning the race, the Australian was forced to settle for second in the championship, the fourth time he has finished second.

“It was obviously disappointing to have that gearbox problem,” said Power. “I think Simon was going to be tough to beat as far as the championship goes.

“Maybe we could have beaten him for the win, but I doubt it if everything just played out as it was. That was that.”

The Team Penske driver still felt it was a positive year, taking four race victories and being a championship contender despite missing the first race of the year around the streets of St Petersburg.

“Honestly it was still a very strong year,” insisted Power. “Four race wins, I won a 500-mile race. Not the right one, but still a 500-miler.

“It’s a 1-2-3 for the team, which is really good, considering how it finished last year. I think the team is really strong now. Another second place.”