The fight against IndyCar champion Alex Palou is heading to court as Chip Ganassi Racing has filed a civil lawsuit in Indiana against the Spanish driver who is trying to leave the team at the end of the season.
Palou is in his second season behind the wheel of Ganassi. The team owner says he has chosen the exclusive option he holds on Palou for the 2023 season. Palou, meanwhile, says he informed CGR he has no plans to return for a third season, and McLaren Racing said it has signed the driver for next year.
The lawsuit filed in Marion County Superior Court in Indianapolis names both Palou and ALPA Racing, which is listed as Palou’s “racing entity” as defendants.
“Alex Palou is under contract with Chip Ganassi Racing until the end of the 2023 season,” the team said in a statement on Wednesday. “He is a valued member of our team and we will continue to support him in his quest for wins, podiums and IndyCar championships.
“Due to a competing racing team wrongly attempting to enter into a contract with him despite the clear terms of our contract, we are taking legal action in accordance with the contract. All inquiries regarding this will be handled by our Jural advisor. “
McLaren Racing chief Zak Brown has repeatedly told The Associated Press that he signed Palou under the representation that Palou was a free agent. Brown has not decided where he will use Palou, and the options range from a third seat in the IndyCar series, a possible shot at a Formula 1 seat or even the new Formula E team he plans to launch. next year.
Palou spent his first IndyCar season driving for Dale Coyne Racing in 2020, then moved last year to Ganassi, where he won the championship and became the first driver since Dario Franchitti in 2012 to win races in the car. No. 10 from Ganassi.
Ganassi said on July 12 that he had exercised the 2023 option for Palou. Hours later, Palou posted a series of tweets indicating that he had no plans to return to the team next year.
Minutes after Palou’s tweets, McLaren said they had signed the driver.
Palou has come under intense scrutiny in the IndyCar paddock as the drama unfolds, with teammate Scott Dixon among the most critical of his handling of the situation. Palou a month earlier had insisted he was not interested in leaving Ganassi and now maintains his June statements were not a lie.
Palou is currently ranked sixth in the IndyCar standings, 44 points behind Indianapolis 500 winner and Ganassi teammate Marcus Ericsson. There are five races left in the season.
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