A runner-up spot in Sunday's Indy 500 was painful for Alex Palou, but a defeat at the hands of Helio Castroneves, one of IndyCar's all-time greats, also left the Spaniard with a sense of pride.
Palou and Castroneves traded places at the top of the leaderboard during the thrilling closing stages of the 105th running of the Indy 500.
With three laps to go, the Spaniard was in command but couldn't shake off the #6 black and pink Meyer Shank Racing car which shadowed his move.
A bold pass by Castroneves on the outside of Turn 1 on the penultimate lap would ultimately seal Palou's fate and the Brazilian's fourth Indy 500 triumph.
"Oh man, it hurts," said the disappointed 24-year-old who gave it his all. "It hurts a lot. I didn’t expect that a second place would hurt that much until I crossed the finish line.
"It’s the Indy 500. I cannot be angry about finishing second. And man, Honda gave us a lot of speed. Super proud of finishing second. It hurts, but it hurts less being beaten by the best in the business.
As Castroneves led Palou into the final lap, the pair caught up with a cluster of backmarkers that only added to the Spaniard's challenge of attacking his rival one last time.
"When he passed me, I was like, ‘Oh, maybe that’s going to be bad for me just because we were reaching the traffic,'" Palou explained.
"As soon as you’re [in] traffic, you’re not P2 any more, you’re like P8. When you are P8 on a pack, it was not easy to pass.
"I still tried, [to] fight for it, [in] Turn 3,Turn 4. It was not enough. For sure the traffic made the things a bit more difficult. That’s part of racing.
"At some other areas, some other parts of the race the traffic was helping me. This time Helio was a bit luckier at the end. He deserved it."
"It’s racing, it's the beauty about racing. When it hurts, it’s good because you know there’s something better. When you win, it’s like the most satisfying thing."