According to McLaren Racing CEO Brown, via a statement issued to media during last weekend's Indianapolis event, “Alex Palou does not intend to honor his contractual obligations to race with us in IndyCar in 2024 and beyond.”
The 2021 champion could well become a two-time title winner this year with Chip Ganassi Racing, where he remains despite last year's bizarre tug-of-war which ultimately saw him allowed to become a McLaren Formula 1 test driver alongside his IndyCar commitments.
This time around, it is McLaren which feels spurned and, reports Indianapolis newspaper IndyStar, has now initiated legal proceedings in the UK Commercial Court.
According to IndyStar, McLaren Racing Limited and McLaren Indy, LLC (the latter of which is the IndyCar team) have jointly sued the driver Palou and his ‘racing entity', ALPA Racing USA, LLC, in separate suits.
Both were filed as Part 7 claims, meaning they are an attempt to claim money from the 26-year-old, rather than to force him to drive for the papaya squad.
Reports from the United States claim that, aside from McLaren's investment in fielding Palou for F1 testing, it had also paid an advance on his 2024 salary.
Presumably, then, it would be seeking to recoup at least that outlay.
Palou currently leads the IndyCar Series by 101 points with three races remaining and, with 54 points on offer at each of those events, could quite conceivably clinch the title next weekend at Gateway.