The owner of Chip Ganassi Racing has slated the management of rivals McLaren in a public statement as the row between the teams over Alex Palou escalated.
The situation was eventually resolved in Ganassi’s favour. Although Palou has participated in F1 tests for McLaren, including in the first practice session for last year’s United States Grand Prix, he continued to race for Ganassi in IndyCar. He holds a comfortable lead in the championship ahead of today’s race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Palou was widely expected to join McLaren’s IndyCar team next year. However comments made by McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown this week indicated this would not happen.
Monaco Increase Management, which represents Palou, announced they had split from their driver, saying in a statement on Saturday they were “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,” MIM added. “Life goes on and we wish Alex all the best for his future achievements.”
Following that announcement Ganassi hit out at McLaren.
“Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t make a habit of commenting about contract situations,” he said in a statement issued by his team. “Subsequently, I have been quiet since day one of this story but now I feel I must respond. I grew up respecting the McLaren Team and their success. The new management does not get my same respect.”
“Alex Palou has been a part of our team and under contract since the 2021 season,” he continued. “It is the interference of that contract from McLaren that began this process and ironically, they are now playing the victim. Simply stated, the position of McLaren IndyCar regarding our driver is inaccurate and wrong; he remains under contract with CGR.”
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