IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou will be Scott Dixon’s newest teammate for the 2021 season as Chip Ganassi Racing confirm the Spaniard will replace the departing Felix Rosenqvist.
Palou will take the No.10 car run by Rosenqvist this season with the Swede confirmed to be joining Pato O’Ward at Arrow McLaren SP.
Next season will see Chip Ganassi Racing expand its operations to accommodate a fourth car for the first time in four years.
Marcus Ericsson has been retained for another year in the No.8 machine, with seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson making his IndyCar debut with the powerhouse Ganassi outfit next year at select rounds.
Six-time series champion Scott Dixon will once again be behind the wheel of the No.9, and as Velocity News reported earlier in the week, the Kiwi has his heart set on another five years in the sport.
Palou is a highly-rated rookie who finished third in his debut Super Formula season last year. He then scored a podium at Road America in just his third IndyCar start with Dale Coyne Racing.
Before the start of the season, Palou had never raced on Ovals but he went on to qualify a sublime seventh at the Indianapolis 500 and finish 16th in the championship.
“To say I’m thrilled or excited to be making this step in my career would be an understatement,” said Palou. “Driving for Chip Ganassi is just a dream come true.
“I’ve followed the team for as long as I can remember, and it’s the kind of team and owner any driver would want to race for. Scott has had another tremendous season, reaching 50 wins and a sixth title, so you absolutely couldn’t ask for anything more in a teammate.
“I can’t wait to work with Marcus and Jimmie as well, and to start contributing to the team and getting to spend more time with everyone.”
Managing director at Ganassi, Mike Hull, added: “I love to watch the growth of young drivers. This year racing IndyCars has been very difficult for young drivers like Alex who hadn’t had the opportunity to visually see the tracks in advance, nor have days of practice in private team testing, or open testing or three-day weekends. Putting that into perspective, he did a heck of a job.
“We had an opening, and he became available, and Chip has a great eye for talent. Alex has that spark, that intangible thing you combine with talent that is a lot of fun.
“It’s a great exploration thing, actually. You’re exploring how far you can go, and he has one year of experience with a quality team, quality engineering and a quality teammate. He stood up to that test extremely well.”