McLaren Racing Limited and McLaren Indy LLC (Arrow McLaren) filed a lawsuit against current NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship leader Alex Palou in the UK Commercial Court over the Spaniard’s decision not to honor his contractual obligation with Arrow McLaren in 2024.
Paddock Eye understands that the lawsuit has been filed for McLaren Racing Limited and Arrow McLaren to recoup a salary advance paid to Alex Palou before his intended move to the team next season. The team is not actively seeking Palou to fulfill his commitment to the team, as Zak Brown has confirmed that the team will announce their 2024 INDYCAR driver plans in the coming weeks. It is understood that Felix Rosenqvist, driver of the No.6 Chevrolet, will move over to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing replacing Jack Harvey in the No.30 Honda.
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown released a statement last weekend to express his extreme disappointment that Alex Palou had decided to renege on this contract.
“This is incredibly disappointing considering the commitment he has made to us both directly and publicly and our significant investment in him based on that commitment..
Brown was given multiple assurances by Alex Palou that the Spaniard was going to be racing in one of the Arrow McLaren /INDYCAR’s in 2024. Shortly after Brown released the statement, Chip Ganassi issued his own statement to say:
Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t make a habit of commenting about contract situations. Subsequently, I have been quiet since day one of this story but now I feel I must respond. I grew up respecting the McLaren Team and their success. The new management does not get my same respect.
Alex Palou has been a part of our team and under contract since the 2021 season. It is the interference of that contract from McLaren that began this process and ironically, they are now playing the victim. Simply stated, the position of McLaren INDYCAR regarding our driver is inaccurate and wrong; he remains under contract with CGR.”
It is going to be interesting to see how all of this plays out over the coming weeks and over the off-season. It is believed that Alex Palou, who is most likely set to win his second series championship in three years, possibly as soon as next weekend has agreed a long-term contract extension to remain in the No.10 Honda for years to come.