McLaren Racing signs Alex Palou for 2023

This is certainly this summer’s and perhaps this year’s racing bombshell. Alex Palou is leaving Chip Ganassi Racing, the team where he was crowned IndyCar champion in 2021 and where he currently competes, at the end of 2022. 

The insistent rumours spreading through the paddock have been proved right, the Spaniard is going to McLaren Racing in 2023. The news, however, which broke this Tuesday night, was surrounded with controversy, given the contradictory messages in the notes issued by the different parties involved.

 Initially, Chip Ganassi Racing announced that they were executing the contractual clause to unilaterally extend their professional relationship with the Spaniard until the end of 2023.

Alex Palou, for his part, responded on social networks that he did not approve of that decision and that he would be leaving the American team at the end of this season for personal reasons to join the McLaren Racing. 

The third party in contention, the British group McLaren, reacted by announcing the signing of Alex Palau for the coming season but without specifying the discipline.

Most likely he is to become part of its IndyCar team, the Arrow McLaren SP, where he would join the Mexican Patricio O’Ward, but he could also join McLaren’s Formula 1 team, as a substitute for the underperforming Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian racer already has a foot out of the door thanks to his poor results during the previous and the current campaigns. 

 Interestingly, one of Palau’s first assignments is to join the McLaren F1 test program behind the wheel of the 2021 McLaren MCL35M, as Colton Herta did this past Monday and Tuesday in Portimão (Portugal). 
Alex Palou and his new Californian partner will thus join O’Ward in the Iberian peninsula. The latter already piloted the papaya missile at the end of last year in Abu Dhabi. These tests are meant to evaluate each of these young drivers’ aptitude to make the leap to Formula One, their great dream.
Finally, the driver from Barcelona could also join McLaren’s Formula E team which is making its debut next season, although this is the most unlikely of all three options.

Alex Palou & McLaren, very happy after signing

The Spaniard driver said:

“I’m extremely excited to join the driver roster for such an iconic team as McLaren. I’m excited to be able to show what I can do behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car and looking at what doors that may open. I want to thank everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing for everything they have done for me.”

Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, said:“We have always said that we want the best talent at McLaren, and it’s exciting to be able to include Alex on that list. I’m also looking forward to seeing him get behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car as part of our Testing of Previous Cars (TPC) programme alongside Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta as we continue to build our driver talent. Alex is an incredibly talented driver who has won in every series he has raced in, and I’m happy to welcome him to the McLaren family.”

Images of Alex Palou: Alex Palou Offiicial Twitter.


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