Alex Palou might be the first driver in history to race for a team while being sued by that team, and as the reigning NTT IndyCar Series champion told the assembled media on Thursday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he’s ready to deal with the situation he’s brought on himself by signing for two teams at the same time while hoping a judge allows him to leave Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of the year and work for McLaren Racing.
“Yeah, for sure,” Palou said. “There’s been better weekend’s that you go to. But to be honest, it didn’t really change much from Toronto. Yeah, now there’s lawsuits involved. But to be honest, I think that was already like written since that weekend. So it didn’t change much from Toronto. I wish it was obviously better and I didn’t have 15 cameras pointing at me now. But yeah, I cannot change it.”
Asked if he expected the dual signing to lead to the lawsuit filed by the Ganassi team on Monday, or if he believed a clean separation with CGR would be possible at the time he signed the McLaren contract, Palou said, “You always want to keep everybody happy and be amiable. But yeah, we can see (it) didn’t work that way.”
Palou says he has not been isolated within the Ganassi team as a result of the dramas that have been created, but also acknowledged the team continues to do as expected by keeping its sensitive chassis information away from the driver of the No. 10 Honda.
“It’s all the same as how we work; At least it’s been like that the past two weekends, and the preparation as well,” he continued. “Yesterday at the simulator, we did the prep as normal. Obviously, we didn’t talk too much about what we were doing. But I was doing stuff, and just trying to get the cars better as possible for this weekend for not only me, but for everybody. That’s still the goal.
“The goal is not to be alone on one car and not talking to the teammates. It’s not, I think, in the best interest for the team. And I firmly believe that we can get four cars in the top four.”
Focusing on the task at hand for Saturday’s Indianapolis road course race and trying to improve his position in the championship where he is currently fourth is where the Spaniard hopes the conversations will turn.
Palou also knows there’s little chance of having the lawsuit take the backseat as the season plays out over the next six weeks; his lawyers were served on his behalf earlier in the week and with CGR filing for expedited hearings, the Ganassi driver expects to spend time during the week being deposed and the weekends in the No. 10 car he wants to vacate at the end of championship.
“I understand that it’s not something you say, ‘It’s OK, guys, in four months, we’re gonna start everything,'” he said, adding that he and Ganassi have not spoken since the suit was filed. “So obviously it’s not the best moment for the championship because we have a lot of races back to back and it’s going to end quick, and we are fighting for this championship. But at the same time, as I said, I understand it has to be done quickly.”
Asked if he thought he’d be driving for McLaren, Palou said, “In the family, yeah.”