McLaren CEO fires huge warning about legal action against driver

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has fired a huge warning about the team taking legal action against a driver.

In a surprising twist that has sent ripples through the motorsport community, Zak Brown, the CEO of McLaren, has raised concerns about the future of Indycar champion Alex Palou’s journey to Formula 1. 

Brown believes that Palou’s recent actions have put his promising career progression at risk. Palou, who clinched the Indycar championship and was part of McLaren’s F1 reserve driver program, was intended to make the leap from Chip Ganassi’s team to McLaren’s Indycar unit.

However, the once-promising trajectory has taken a detour as Palou, now 26, faces a lawsuit that could potentially entail claims amounting to $30 million for alleged breach of contract. 

Addressing the complex situation, Brown remarked, “Alex informed us that he has no intention of fulfilling his contract with us in Indycar or in F1.” 

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Speaking during an interview with DAZN at the Dutch Grand Prix, he revealed the legal actions taken by McLaren, stating, “We have a contract, so that is now in a legal process. 

“We filed suit in the London courts last week against him – both as a natural person and as his business entity.”

The turn of events has left many puzzled, especially considering McLaren’s pivotal role in shaping Palou’s path to Formula 1. 

Expressing his bewilderment, Brown admitted, “I have no idea what’s going through his head because I haven’t talked to him.” 

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Brown emphasised the disappointment felt due to the lack of communication, particularly given the opportunities and support extended to Palou by McLaren.

He noted, “But things move fast in F1. Drivers can break their wrists at any moment. 

“If you want to do F1, you have to jump through some hoops and see what opportunities present themselves.”

Brown also raised the question of how Palou’s actions might be perceived by other F1 teams, indicating the potential impact on his reputation within the sport. 

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Reflecting on McLaren’s driver relationships, Brown commented, “On a personal level, I think the relationship with our drivers is something that McLaren takes very seriously, and I think we do a good job creating a family atmosphere.”

Amid the uncertainty caused by Palou’s decisions, Brown sought to find silver linings by focusing on McLaren’s other potential F1 prospects. He mentioned the team’s several reserve drivers and their potential contributions.

“Last year we ran Alex and Pato (Ward), and I’ll work now with Andrea (Stella) on plans for this year,” Brown shared, highlighting McLaren’s commitment to integrating rookie drivers into F1 practice sessions.