McLaren are attempting to sue reigning IndyCar Champion Alex Palou for over $23 million, after he turned his back on a signed contract to join the Woking-based team.
Palou had been contracted to leave Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of 2023 to join the Arrows McLaren outfit for 2024, something he’s backtracked on in order to remain with his current outfit.
He is an extraordinary talent, who has won two of the last three IndyCar titles.
The Spanish driver has tested old McLaren F1 cars and has even been linked in the past to both Williams and AlphaTauri, although nothing has ever materialised.
Palou cruised to his second IndyCar crown this year by a sizeable 78 points, even with the dispute with McLaren taking place in the background.
He informed the British side during the summer that he wouldn’t be honouring his contract, something which has infuriated McLaren CEO Zak Brown.
As a result. McLaren are suing the driver for over $23 million, due to sponsorship they expected to receive with the arrival of the Spaniard.
It’s not the first contract battle he’s been involved in, after previously sorting a mediation agreement with Chip Ganassi Racing to allow him to test for McLaren in F1.
The entire situation is “sad” in the Spaniard’s eyes, as he feels like he’s “doing the right things”.
“I agree it’s sad,” Palou told NBC last month.
“I’ve always tried to be a nice person, and I always thought I was doing the right things. That’s how my family taught me how to do stuff, and then suddenly, I look like I do everything wrong. That I don’t listen. And that I just do whatever I feel on that day.”
The fee McLaren are demanding from Palou also covers part of his salary and also the money spent on preparing him for F1, with the side having already “dedicated a lot of time” to the 26-year-old.
Brown wrote a letter to the McLaren IndyCar outfit informing them of Palou’s decision and how it was “incredibly disappointing”.
“Palou has no intention of honouring [sic] his contract with Arrow McLaren for the 2024 season and beyond,” Brown wrote in a letter to Arrows McLaren Racing employees.
“This is incredibly disappointing, considering the commitment he made with us directly and publicly, and the significant investment we have put into him based on that commitment.
“We have dedicated a lot of time, money, and resources in preparing to welcome Alex into our team because we believed in him, and we were looking forward to achieving IndyCar victories with him.”