Yet another contract saga for McLaren as brand files lawsuit against IndyCar superstar Alex Palou

F1 Grand Prix of USA - Practice
McLaren reserve driver Alex Palou prepares to drive in the garage during practice ahead of the 2022 F1 USA Grand Prix. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

McLaren Racing Limited and McLaren Indy have reportedly sued IndyCar star Alex Palou and Chip Ganassi Racing's driver racing entity, ALPA Racing USA, in two separate lawsuits in the UK. Palou finds himself in a similar situation. having previously been in a contractual controversy in 2022.

Arrow McLaren, the brand's IndyCar team, recently announced that Alex Palou will be racing for them starting in 2024. However, the Spanish driver declared that he wouldn't be doing so.

According to the Associated Press, CEO Zak Brown himself wrote a letter informing the team that, despite them investing so much in Palou, the driver is not honoring the contract for him to race with them in 2024.

The letter read:

"This is incredibly disappointing, considering the commitment (Alex) has made to us both directly and publicly and our significant investment in him based on that commitment. We dedicated a lot of time, money, and resources preparing to welcome Alex into our team because we believed in him and were looking forward to IndyCar wins with him."
"I'm extremely disappointed that Alex Palou does not intend to honor his contractual obligations to race with us in IndyCar in 2024 and beyond."

Both lawsuits were filed as Part 7 claims, which means that the accuser is demanding money from the defendants.

When contacted by phone, Alex Palou's manager Roger Yasukawa stated that the driver is currently focused on winning the 2023 IndyCar championship and would address the situation after the season.

Alex Palou currently races for the Chip Ganassi Racing team and is also working as a reserve driver for the McLaren F1 team.

McLaren boss on his aggressive approach to signing drivers for their IndyCar team

Arrow McLaren have quickly made a name for themselves in the IndyCar Series but have also been involved in many transfer news stories and controversies.

CEO Zak Brown explained how a new team needs to have this aggressive approach to signing talent in order to move up the ranks in a racing series. Speaking with The Race, he said:

“We’ve kind of broken into the top three and four in IndyCar, from a team that was not there previously, and we’ve had to make some aggressive moves to get Gavin Ward in, to get these drivers in."
"But I can tell you growing up watching these guys, they’ve done the same thing over the years themselves, and it’s just kind of when the new kid on the block shows up, that’s it."

Currently, the top Arrow McLaren driver is Pato O'Ward, who is in fifth place with 388 points.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar