Rumor: Palou to McLaren in 2023 (2nd Update)

This rumor is upgraded to ‘fact’.

So it turns out our sources of Palou going to McLaren were spot on and that he is indeed leaving the Chip Ganassi IndyCar team.

McLaren Racing has signed champion driver Alex Palou to race for McLaren starting in 2023.

Alongside his racing duties next year, Palou will also test with the McLaren F1 Team as part of its 2021 MCL35M F1 car testing program with fellow drivers Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta.

Palou, 25-years-old from Barcelona, Spain, won three races and scored eight podiums in 2021 on his way to winning the title in just his second year in INDYCAR.

Palou became the first Spanish driver to win the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship when he claimed last year’s title. His motorsport resume also includes an impressive season in Super Formula in 2019, where he secured a win and finished third in the championship.

Palou will join McLaren following the conclusion of his 2022 INDYCAR season. McLaren Racing will confirm its full driver line-ups across all of its racing series in due course.

Alex Palou, said:

“I’m extremely excited to join the driver roster for such an iconic team as McLaren. I’m excited to be able to show what I can do behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car and looking at what doors that may open. I want to thank everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing for everything they have done for me.”

Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, said:

“We have always said that we want the best talent at McLaren, and it’s exciting to be able to include Alex on that list. I’m also looking forward to seeing him get behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car as part of our Testing of Previous Cars (TPC) program alongside Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta as we continue to build our driver talent. Alex is an incredibly talented driver who has won in every series he has raced in, and I’m happy to welcome him to the McLaren family.”

July 12, 2022 

This rumor is downgraded to ‘false’ with today’s announcement that Palou has re-signed with the Ganassi team, however, this is contrary to what sources know to be the truth.

July 7, 2022 

Rumor has it that defending IndyCar champion Alex Palou (his business Manager is former IndyCar driver Roger Yasakawa) may move from the Ganassi IndyCar team to Arrow McLaren next year to race alongside Pato O’Ward and Alexander Rossi.

However, we heard whispers that Palou may have instead re-signed with Ganassi Racing who view him as their future with Scott Dixon getting up there in age.

Our previous rumor had McLaren offering Daniel Ricciardo an IndyCar seat to make rumor for Oscar Piastri.  Ricciardo  has a McLaren contract for next year, but it is fair to say that he has been thoroughly schooled by teammate Lando Norris and is beginning to look long on tooth, which makes him a good IndyCar candidate if there was a seat open.

So, if Palou does go to Arrow McLaren, then it is unknown if Ricciardo will move to McLaren’s Formula E team, retire or perhaps race Supercars back in Australia.  He’s not keen to race on IndyCar’s ovals.


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