IndyCar Champion Alex Palou to Arrow-McLaren in 2023

IndyCar Champion Alex Palou to Arrow-McLaren in 2023

by July 13, 2022 0 comments

Minor rumblings of current IndyCar Champion Alex Palou potentially hitting the open market came about earlier this year. Odd given that he is with Chip Ganassi Racing, with whom he has already won a title, and nearly won last year’s Indianapolis 500. Despite this, the Spaniard didn’t receive a contract extension this year, and appeared without a 2023 ride into the summer months. That all changed on Tuesday evening, in a wild turn of events to say the least.

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Source; Trust Me Bro

Around 4:00 on the east coast, Ganassi put the word out on their socials that Palou would be back for 2023 on a team option. Seemed on the up and up, they even had quotes from both Palou and Chip Ganassi himself in the release, with the former’s statement looking as such.

“It’s a great feeling knowing I’ll be back with Chip Ganassi Racing next season. The team welcomed me with open arms from day one, and I’m excited to continue working with Chip, Mike Hull, the folks on the No. 10 NTT DATA car and everyone within the organization. The goals remain the same and we will continue to work relentlessly towards achieving them.”

There is just one tiny little problem here, Palou never said that. Nor did he even approve this press release to be published either. Palou put this out there around three hours after the CGR presser dropped on Twitter in a multi-part thread.

Super Team

Maybe 10, perhaps even five minutes after Palou news dropped, the team most linked to Palou were he to hit to open market, confirmed they have acquired his services. That being Zak Brown’s Arrow-McLaren SP team, whom earlier this year picked up Alexander Rossi for 2023 as well. Although McLaren’s presser doesn’t directly state this is for an IndyCar ride, it would be hard to imagine this being for Formula E. The odd man out is Felix Rosenqvist, who may be forced into the electric series beginning next year. That would leave Palou, Rossi, and Pato O’Ward in IndyCar, then Daniel Riccardo and Lando Norris in Formula 1.

One thing that the McLaren presser stated was that Palou will get the opportunity to test the F1 car as a part of his deal. Doing so with O’Ward, as well as Andretti Autosport driver Colton Herta, who just wrapped up a test in Portugal yesterday so it happens. Having a direct pipeline to Formula 1, while still being at a top-tier IndyCar team is gigantic. Additionally, one, if not both of those F1 seats will likely be open going into 2024. If that is where Palou wants to end up, he has a golden opportunity in front of him to get there.

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