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Ganassi: Palou’s IndyCar legal dispute with McLaren is “just a little speed bump”

Fifteen-time IndyCar Series champion team boss Chip Ganassi says Alex Palou’s legal issue with rivals McLaren is “just a little speed bump”.

Alex Palou with Chip Ganass, Chip Ganassi Racing

Penske Entertainment

Speaking in a press conference after Chip Ganassi Racing lured global logistics giant DHL away from Michael Andretti’s squad to become Palou’s primary sponsor in a multi-year agreement, the veteran team owner shrugged off the impact of McLaren’s claim for $23 million damages against his driver for breach of contract.

When asked by Autosport about what support he can give Palou while he’s dealing with the court case, Ganassi replied: “I think the good news about Alex, nothing sort of on the periphery seems to affect him on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“When you look over his record with our team, you can see that he's had 50 starts with our team, and in those 50 starts he's had 24 podiums. Think about that, 24 podiums in 50 starts with Chip Ganassi Racing.

“He's only the second guy to win multiple championships at 26 years old or under in the hundred-year history of IndyCar racing. When you look at statistics like that, he knows he has our unwavering support in anything he wants to do.

“This is just a little speed bump along the way.”

Palou was also quizzed about the case but remained tightlipped per his lawyer’s advice.

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet and Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

Photo by: Geoffrey M. Miller / Motorsport Images

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet and Alex Palou, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

“It's still ongoing,” he said. “As it's still not closed yet, I cannot really comment more on what's been already released.

“Yeah, whatever all the documents and everything that my lawyer said are true, and that's my comment, let's say. Yeah, once everything is settled, once everything is done, I'll be hopefully able to answer more questions in detail.”

One aspect he did confirm is that he would defend his title running the #10, rather than taking the #1 that was available to him as champion.

“The #1 is always calling, obviously when you have the ability to win a championship and to choose,” he added. “At the same time the #10 is very special. I won already two championships with it. It's very special to the team and to the brand, CGR brand, in general.”

Palou kept the #10 for his first title defence in 2022, when he only finished fifth in points – a season during which Ganassi sued him for signing for McLaren.

He also confirmed publicly that his Ganassi contract from 2024 is a “new deal” rather than an extension like the one that was agreed via mediation to cover 2023.

“It's going to be multi-year, as well,” he said. “It's not been announced like specifically, but it was, let's say, announced today.

“So, yeah, I cannot really mention more than that.”

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