Pagenaud was ultimately ruled out for the balance of the 2023 IndyCar season after a violent practice crash in July at Mid-Ohio, caused by brake failure, left him affected by concussion.
His seat at Meyer Shank Racing (MSR) has been taken by Felix Rosenqvist, and there is no certainty over when the Frenchman will return to action, let alone if it will be this year.
Notably though, in an online update posted by Pagenaud, he referred to “when I come back,” as he continues to work with doctors.
“2023 wasn't an easy year for me as most of you will know,” he began in a post entitled “Better times ahead”.
“My racing was cut short on July 1 when I had a big accident during practice at Mid-Ohio. My car suffered a manufacturer brake failure resulting in my leaving the track with several high-speed rolls at 180mph.
“The IndyCar safety team did an amazing job to get me out of the car and to look after me in the first hours after the impact, and I will be forever thankful to them.
“Due to the accident, I couldn't continue my season which meant that I only did eight races in 2023.
“Ever since, I have been concentrating on getting my health back to 100%. For that, I have been working closely with a great team of doctors and I have been progressing every day.
“I don't know yet if I will be back behind a wheel in 2024 nor if I am ready for it. I want to take things slowly to make sure that when I come back, I am at my very best again.
“For now, I want to thank all of you who have sent messages of support, and of course a big thanks to my family, friends, and team who have been there for me 24/7.
“While I am working out my next steps, I also want to take the opportunity to look back at my career and reminisce with you about past success and special moments. But don't get me wrong: This is not the end as better times are ahead!
“Have a great 2024 everyone!”
His most recent victory of 15 in IndyCar came at Iowa in 2020, before the move to MSR in 2022.
That squad enters the 2024 IndyCar season with an all-new full-time driver line-up of Rosenqvist and Tom Blomqvist, the latter of whom was among Pagenaud's fill-ins last year and has come across from MSR's now-shuttered IMSA programme.