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Motor sports: season gets out of control


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Fernando Alonso is to blame for all this mess, isn’t he?

Or was it IndyCar champion Alex Palou?

Perhaps the fault lies with McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown? Because he’s racked up a payroll with just about anyone who can drive a car in a season gone haywire, with repercussions spreading to three categories, the entire world and at least one court.

Palou perhaps made the initial stitch several months ago. Chip Ganassi said he had taken the Spaniard’s contract option for next season, but the driver rejected the press release and said he would not return in 2023. Minutes later, McLaren said it had signed Palou.

Ganassi has sued Palou, who says emphatically he will race for McLaren next season, and everyone on the IndyCar payroll is gawking as each race weekend brings a new twist to the courtroom drama.

But then Alonso raised the stakes when Aston Martin stunned the Formula One world by announcing on Monday that it had signed the two-time world champion. Alonso had not thought it necessary to inform the current team of him, who took it for granted that he was returning to Alpine for another year.

Alpine had to take action quickly and the next day said it was promoting its reserve driver to Alonso’s job. So Oscar Piastri did the same as Palou – his tweet of him rejecting Alpine’s F1 job was a close imitation of Palou’s – and he said he would not drive for the team.

McLaren is yet to confirm the 21-year-old Aussie’s arrival, but it appears he filed all the contractual paperwork even before Alonso left Alpine. Now McLaren is negotiating the departure of its F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo, Palou is in limbo. legal and Felix Rosenqvist has no idea if he will keep his IndyCar job with Arrow McLaren SP or if he will be sent to Formula E to be replaced by Palou.

With just four races remaining in the most riveting IndyCar season in decades, with six drivers vying for the title, all attention is focused on this contract drama and who will drive what next season.




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