Alex Palou. Photo by Lucille Dust/

IndyCar News: Palou had no interest in McLaren F1 reserve role

(GMM) Alex Palou says he pulled the pin on his move to McLaren because he had no interest sitting on the reserve bench in Formula 1.

The 26-year-old Spaniard, who has won two of the last three IndyCar championships, is still embroiled in legal action after reneging on a deal to switch from Chip Ganassi to McLaren.

Palou told the Associated Press that he’s not even disputing the contract breach.

Demonstrating with the water bottles in front of him, he said: “Look, it all comes down to this – Do I have to pay (for) one water bottle, or do I have to pay (for) this many water bottles?”

It was expected that Palou’s move to McLaren’s IndyCar team could result in a sensational move up to F1 – and most insiders believe he is more than capable of being competitive in motor racing’s top category.

“In my opinion, Palou is more complete than (Max) Verstappen,” Palou’s IndyCar rival Agustin Canapino said recently. “What Palou does in IndyCar for me is really like being an extraterrestrial.”

Palou, though, says he pulled the pin on his move to McLaren because he had the feeling all that was being offered to him was a reserve role in F1.

He says he did on-track and simulator tests and “there were no signs that anything was going to open for me in F1”.

“I am too old to wait and see if someone gets hurt and that is how I can get my chance,” Palou added. “Pato can wait for someone to get hurt,” he said, referring to McLaren’s IndyCar and F1 reserve driver Pato O’Ward.

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