Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) have today filed a lawsuit suing their 2021 IndyCar champion Alex Palou following him signing for McLaren for the 2023 season. The Spanish driver was last month announced by CGR to have signed the one-year extension available on his contract, only for the driver to dispute the claim in a Twitter post.
In his Twitter post, Palou disputed that the claims of his signature by CGR were invalid, with the release also including a quote which he had not made. McLaren then proceeded to announce the signing of the reigning champion shortly thereafter, with the expectation he will drive alongside Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi in the new third-seat for the outfit.
The Spaniard was signed by CGR in 2021, with the two year contract including an option to extend for a third year should it be exercised. The outfit believe this extension has been implemented, with Palou deeming otherwise.
A press release from CGR this morning announced the lawsuit and expectations of Palou to see out the remainder of his contract.
“Alex Palou is under contract with Chip Ganassi Racing through the end of the 2023 season,” the release began.
“He is a valued member of our team, and we will continue to support him in chasing wins, podiums, and INDYCAR championships.”
“As the result of a competing racing team improperly attempting to contract with him notwithstanding the clear terms of our contract, we are proceeding to legal process pursuant to the contract. Any and all inquiries on the matter will be handled by our legal counsel.”
Ganassi’s attorney’s today filed the motions, sealing it as a civil complaint. The motions were filed at the Marion County Court, with a summons served to both Palou and ALPA Racing at his residence in Spain, as well as his current residence in California. He has 20 days to respond to these, with CGR requesting proceedings be undertaken before the end of August.
These proceedings are estimated to take less than two hours by CGR, who recognise they have confidential business information regarding the deal between the two parties, as well as communication between the two outfits.
Palou, the teammate of New Zealand driver Scott Dixon, currently sits in sixth in this years championship standings, with five rounds remaining in the 2022 event. He sits only 44 points behind leader Marcus Ericsson, and 10 points behind Dixon as he seeks to defend his 2021 title.
The next race weekend for IndyCar begins Saturday New Zealand time, with the 85-lap Gallagher Grand Prix seeing drivers race the famous Indianapolis in-field track.
New Zealand driver Scott McLaughlin will be competing with the aim to defend his third place last time out, with Dixon also aiming for his second win of the season.