Alex Palou ready for Rolex 24 and IndyCar amid McLaren lawsuit

Alex Palou ready for Rolex 24 and IndyCar amid McLaren lawsuit

Alex Palou managed to secure a last-minute seat in Chip Ganassi’s star-studded Cadillac at the Daytona 24 and he aims to clinch a Rolex win and a third IndyCar title this year despite McLaren lawsuit.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver is prepared to race in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and also pursue a third IndyCar championship victory without any worries despite the $23 million lawsuit McLaren was threatening to sue him for breach of contract.

Palou is ecstatic and motivated to win the championship after his new baby, Lucia was born in December. Finally, he has acquired the necessary visa, so mom and baby can make their way to the US to see him as he races in the endurance event at Daytona International Speedway for the second time in his career next weekend.

Palou received the late call to take the wheel of the Chip Gannassi Cadillac that features an all-star lineup including six-time champion and IndyCar teammate Scott Dixon, as well as IMSA regulars Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande, in the Daytona endurance race scheduled for next weekend.

Winning two championships in three seasons for Ganassi is a remarkable achievement for a driver especially given that the team owner’s motto is ‘I like winners.’ Additionally, the owner-driver bond seems sincere and open as Palou chose the seat next to the boss at Ganassi’s yearly start-of-season dinner and spent the next two hours showing him photos of his newborn.

Palou stated that his current relationship with Ganassi is better than his previous one in an interview with The Associated Press.

“I think this drama has made us a lot closer. Why? I don’t know,” Palou said. “Now we just have a normal relationship.

“When you break one time with your girlfriend, then you are even better because you understand each other and all of the previous issues. Suddenly it’s a better relationship.”

Palou secured his first IndyCar championship in his debut season as a Ganassi driver. However, trouble came after Ganassi announced midway through his second season that he has chosen to exercise Palou’s contract option for 2023. Palou declined, stating that he would be joining Arrow McLaren Racing.

As a result, Ganassi filed a lawsuit but mediation resolved the dispute and determined that Palou could serve as McLaren’s Formula 1 test and reserve driver, fulfil his IndyCar contract with Ganassi and eventually begin his career with Arrow McLaren this year.

See also  McLaren to claim over $20m in damages from Alex Palou

However, Palou had a change of heart and decided he didn’t want to leave Ganassi after all as he dominated the 2023 IndyCar season with five wins and a commanding lead to win his second title.

McLaren is currently suing for an outrageous amount that Palou can’t afford. The driver acknowledged in his legal response that he had broken his contract with the company in an attempt to get the legal battle to concentrate solely on the real damages Palou owes McLaren.

Therefore, he was completely unfazed by the almost two-year-long dispute between Ganassi and McLaren over his job as he sat in front of AP grinning. He appeared shocked when asked why he wasn’t stressing out about his financial situation.

“Look, it all comes down to this. ‘Do I have to pay one water bottle? Or do I have to pay this many water bottles?'” he asked as he pushed the bottle to the side and then pushed it to the opposite side.

In his legal reply to McLaren, Palou claimed among other things he no longer trusted McLaren to get him a Formula One seat. That was ultimately his goal, and he was working hard at McLaren in the hopes that his contract with its IndyCar team would lead to a promotion to F1.

When asked how he was so certain he would never make it to the premier racing series, Palou responded that he completed the simulator tests and saw no indications that anything would open up for him in Formula 1. Therefore, he had no interest in waiting for tragedy to happen in his racing career.

“I am too old to wait and see if someone gets hurt and that is how I can get my chance,” Palou said. “Pato can wait for someone to get hurt.”

McLaren has designated 24-year-old IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward as the F1 reserve following Palou’s change of heart.

In general, Palou’s life could not be better at this moment. Next weekend, he will be racing in the legendary Ganassi entry at Daytona—a call he was unaware of up until the team’s test in December—and he is excited to pursue a third IndyCar championship when the season gets underway in March.

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