Almost three days after the bomb that completely dynamited the panorama of the IndyCar Seriesand whose effects were felt in the Formula 1 paddock itself, Alex Palou has appeared in the city of Toronto to complete the tenth race of the season as planned from the beginning. The Spanish driver will continue this weekend at the wheel of the #10 Chip Ganassi Racing car, something that was in serious doubt for 48 hours until the team confirmed it on Thursday.
What happens beyond that seems like a mystery, as does the situation surrounding the Spaniard, who was announced as a new McLaren Racing competitor for the 2023 season a few hours after Ganassi confirmed the automatic extension of his contract for one more year. . Palou himself He stepped out of the announcement of his current team to deny having given his approval and accuse them of fabricating their statements, a full frontal declaration of war that is far from the most convenient with eight races remaining in the season.
However, Palou wanted to give the best possible image of normalcy within such a unique setting, and has talked for more than half an hour with the accredited media in person for the Indy Toronto, his statements being published in the first instance by NBC Sports Y RACER. That pretense of normality, as is logical, has not included comments regarding his contract with McLaren, which has not made public in which category he will line up Palou, but the Spaniard has answered other questions related to the subject.
“I know that the press is really interested in what is happening and in this subject, but I do not intend to comment on my intentions. I have nothing more to say than what I said on Tuesday. Everything is fine, and we are here in Toronto”, added Palou, who wanted to be very precise about the internal situation of the team after what happened: «I’m still super happy where I am, and I’m happy with my team, with my teammates and with everything, so nothing has changed. Everyone in the team supports us, and we continue to have the same goal for this season, which is to take the #10 car to victory.”
On paper, this whole affair is a potential distraction from the objectives set for a Palou who is in fourth place overall, 35 points behind teammate Marcus Ericsson, but the defending champion denies having lost focus. «Why shouldn’t we be focused? We are 100%. Obviously this is not ideal, especially for my mechanics and the people around me. But in my case, everything is fine. I’m a warrior so this ain’t gonna slow me down. If people think this is going to affect me on the track or something like that, then they don’t know who I am.”
Although Palou said he had not known anything about a potential last-minute substitution in his car, the Catalan driver yes he has spoken with Chip Ganassi since what happened: “We are professionals, we understand and we know how to talk. It was OK. I am here, so… (…) We are here to win, we have a championship to win. We are fourth in the championship and we have had a good season together I know that Chip Ganassi, myself and everyone around me are professionals who want the same thing, to win. I’m not going to tell you that we’re going to go get a beer and work it out. I’ve never seen myself in this situation so I have no idea.».
Photos: IndyCar Media