Alex Palou

Reigning series champion Alex Palou led six NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers named to the Autosport Top 50 Drivers of 2021 list, coming in at No. 5 in the world.

The editors and writers of United Kingdom-based Autosport, one of the longest-publishing and most respected motorsports magazines in the world, have published this top 50 list annually for fans and readers to dissect and debate. Drivers from every major four-wheel series on Earth are considered for the fun-but-prestigious list.

Palou earned the top-five spot after claiming his first NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship in just his second season in the series, driving the No. 10 NTT DATA Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing. He also won three races.

Other NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers to make the list included Colton Herta (No. 14), Josef Newgarden (No. 18), Pato O’Ward (No. 19), Scott Dixon (No. 29) and Will Power (No. 42).

Palou made the biggest leap among INDYCAR drivers on the list, as he wasn’t included in the 2020 rankings. O’Ward also made a substantial leap, jumping from 34th in 2020.

Spaniard Palou hovers in elite company among the top 10 drivers on Earth, according to Autosport. The complete top 10: 1. Lewis Hamilton (Formula One); 2. Max Verstappen (F1); 3. Lando Norris (F1); 4. Sebastien Ogier (World Rally Championship); 5. Palou; 6. Charles Leclerc (F1); 7. Carlos Sainz Jr. (F1); 8. Kyle Larson (NASCAR); 9. Nyck de Vries (Formula E, European Le Mans Series); 10. Pierre Gasly (F1).

Only Formula One and the World Endurance Championship put more stars into the top 50 than the NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ six, as there are 13 F1 drivers and seven WEC drivers on the list.