Update, July 28 6:36 p.m. ET: Alex Palou said “I will be in the McLaren family next year,” per the Associated Press.
Update, July 28, 12:46 p.m. ET: Alex Palou’s lawyers have responded to the lawsuit, according to The Indianapolis Star.
“We are disappointed that Chip Ganassi Racing would attempt to keep Alex from an opportunity to compete in Formula 1, and even more so with CGR’s public court filings and continued commentary to the press on this matter,” Palou’s lawyer, Rachel Epstein, said in a statement to The Indianapolis Star. “Alex has consistently given his very best effort to CGR and it is unfortunate that CGR would attempt to deny Alex this opportunity. We would hope the parties can resolve this amicably, but if not, we look forward to resolving this matter in a private arbitration, as CGR has requested.”
Chip Ganassi Racing is suing NTT IndyCar Series driver Alex Palou in Marion County (Florida) Superior Court, The Indianapolis Star reports.
The news comes after CGR picked up Palou’s 2023 option on July 12. Hours later, Palou denounced the press release, claiming the quote attributed to him in the release was manufactured by the team. He then announced he would leave Ganassi after the season to join McLaren’s lineup in 2023.
“Alex Palou is under contract with Chip Ganassi Racing through the end of the 2023 season,” a CGR spokesperson said in an e-mail to The Indianapolis Star. “He is a valued member of our team and we will continue to support him in chasing wins, podiums and IndyCar championships.
“As the result of a competing racing team attempting to contract him notwithstanding the clear terms of our contract, we are proceeding to legal process pursuant to the contract. Any and all inquiries on the matter will be handled by our legal counsel.”
Palou currently sits sixth in IndyCar points, 44 back of Marcus Ericsson with five races left in the season.
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Chip – Jimmie’s ready… just saying. Seriously though – this is going to be a painfully expensive way to buy out a driver’s contract. As usual, the only winners will be the blood sucking lawyers.