This latest contractual saga follows a protracted legal battle over his services for 2023, during which Ganassi filed a lawsuit against its own driver after he signed a contract with McLaren in the summer of 2022.
He reached an agreement through a legal mediation that resulted in him continuing with Ganassi for the current season. It appears highly likely that he will secure his second championship. Additionally, the agreement permits him to have the opportunity to drive McLaren Formula 1 cars and act as their backup F1 driver.
Until this point, it appeared that he was ready to become a part of the Arrow McLaren IndyCar team for the year 2024.
McLaren Racing’s CEO, Zak Brown, expressed his deep disappointment regarding Alex Palou’s decision to not fulfill his contractual commitments to compete in IndyCar beyond 2024.
In a letter sent to McLaren employees after final practice at Indianapolis on Friday evening, first reported by the Associated Press, Brown wrote: “This is incredibly disappointing, considering the commitment he has made to us both directly and publicly and our significant investment in him based on that commitment.”
He also mentioned the effort, financial investment, and resources dedicated to welcoming Alex into our team due to our belief in him and anticipation of achieving IndyCar victories together.
Alex Palou, McLaren F1 testing at Barcelona
Photo by: Monaco Increase Management
Palou had been an integral part of McLaren’s F1 TPC (testing of previous cars) program, driving most recently at the Hungaroring in June – alongside regular race driver Oscar Piastri – after previous tests at the Red Bull Ring and Barcelona.
He also drove in Free Practice 1 at last year’s United States Grand Prix and was present at May’s Miami Grand Prix as McLaren’s reserve driver.
Today, a new development emerged in the saga when it became known that Palou has ended his association with his management company, Monaco Increase Management. The company expressed its deep disappointment through a separate statement regarding his choice.
It read: “Monaco Increase Management is bitterly disappointed to learn about Alex Palou’s decision to break an existing agreement with McLaren for 2024 and beyond. Together, we had built a relationship that we thought went beyond any contractual obligation and culminated in winning the 2021 Indycar crown and tracing a path to F1 opportunities.
“We hope that Alex experiences continued success in his future endeavors as life moves forward.”
MIM had been involved in the F1 paddock on behalf of Palou, as his McLaren agreement is believed to have included a buyout deal worth millions of dollars until July 1. However, he recently stated that he had not received any offers from other F1 teams.
All signs now point to a multi-year renewal with Ganassi, with a seven-figure salary that would likely make him the best-paid driver in the series.