McLaren have been accused of “playing the victim” by Chip Ganassi, after Spanish IndyCar driver Alex Palou sensationally pulled the plug on a signed contract with the British team for 2024.
It was reported by Association Press that the 2021 IndyCar Champion had pulled out of a deal to join McLaren next season as planned, despite the fact he agreed to the contract and also signed it.
McLaren CEO Zak Brown has been left bitterly disappointed by the revelation and has informed the team’s IndyCar employees that Palou has “no intention” to join them.
Concerningly, Palou is McLaren’s F1 reserve driver, meaning they’ll likely be on the hunt for a replacement.
Palou currently races for Chip Ganassi Racing, who he was set to leave for McLaren next season.
Ganassi himself has since released a statement over Palou’s contract saga after feeling like he “must respond”, with him taking aim at McLaren for “playing the victim”.
“Anyone that knows me knows 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,” Ganassi stated.
“Anyone that knows me knows 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.
“Alex Palou has been a part of our team and under contract since the 2021 season. It is the interference of 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.”
Palou has since been dropped by his management team after not informing them about his actions, despite the fact he worked with them to create the deal in the first place.
The whole McLaren saga started after Brown approached Palou whilst he was contracted to Chip Ganassi Racing, in a somewhat similar situation as to what happened with Oscar Piastri in many ways.
With a McLaren move off the cards, it’s been suggested that Palou could be talking to other F1 teams, or potentially considering remaining where he currently is.