The IndyCar summer saga is coming to an end. Two months after signifying his departure from Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of the 2022 season to marry with McLaren, Alex Palou is backpedaling in part to stay in the fold of Chip Ganassi in 2023 in the North American championship.
I’m excited to announce that @CGRTeams and I have come to an agreement and I’ll be back in the No. 10 car next season!
Looking forward to a BIG 2023! 🦍 pic.twitter.com/wIhaPdYj9q
— Alex Palou Montalbo (@AlexPalou) September 14, 2022
Crowned in 2021, the Spanish driver had a more difficult 2022 season, punctuated however by a landslide victory in the final at Laguna Seca, where his direct pursuer, Josef Newgarden (Team Penske), had been rejected by half a minute.
« Alex Palou will remain in Chip Ganassi Racing’s #10 car for the 2023 IndyCar season, indicates a press release from the CGR team published this Wednesday, September 14. The deal gives him the ability to test cars in separate racing series, as long as it doesn’t directly conflict with his IndyCar commitments. »
It is this last sentence that catches the eye. Alex Palou had yielded to the sirens of Zak Brown and McLaren precisely to join Formula 1 in the heart of summer. A perspective undermined by the signing of Oscar Piastri alongside Lando Norris, but above all by a legal conflict between his two potential employers (CGR and McLaren). Chip Ganassi had explained how Alex Palou did not respect his initial commitment, since a contract was signed with the team of Chip Ganassi and Mike Hull for the year 2023. McLaren, for its part, denied having knowledge of this signature.
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Alex Palou also reacted on social networks by thanking the flexibility of the CGR. “I am also grateful that CGR allows me to continue F1 testing with McLaren outside of my IndyCar commitments. Thank you Chip, Mike and the entire team for your willingness to work together and help support both the team and my personal goals through this process. »
All’s well that ends well then. The 25-year-old driver was quick to put his toe into the world of Formula 1 as he will perform a test session at the Barcelona circuit, along with Arrow Mclaren SP driver in IndyCar Pato O ‘Ward, aboard an older generation single-seater, the MCL35M.
McLaren, like the nine other Formula 1 teams, is obliged to reserve two Free Practice sessions on Friday for a rookie, with the aim of opening up the sport to a new generation of drivers. This is how the Dutchman Nyck de Vries was able to play three sessions with Williams, Mercedes and Aston Martin during the year 2022, before being called up to replace Alex Albon urgently at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
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Finally, Arrow McLaren SP was able to confirm its line-up for 2023 in the process: Pato O’Ward will be joined by Alexander Rossi (defector from Andretti) while Felix Rosenqvist, a time on the start for Formula E, has been retained.