McLaren Racing has filed a lawsuit against both Alex Palou and his racing entity ALPA Racing USA over the driver’s intention to not fulfil agreements made with the team regarding the 2024 season.
The recent update comes via The IndyStar, which viewed the lawsuit records in question and first reported on the details of the latest chapter in the contract dispute involving the presumptive 2023 IndyCar champion.
The pair of lawsuits were filed in the UK legal system over the past week, and were categorized such that the end goal is to reclaim money from the defendant.
Rather than seeking to force Palou to honor his driving agreements for next season, it appears that McLaren is looking to recoup costs and advance salaries that were paid to him under the condition that he would be benefitting the team next season.
According to language in a letter that McLaren CEO Zak Brown sent to his team last week, the advances on Palou’s salary were ‘significant’ and the investment in Palou regarding his potential F1 future was measured in ‘millions of dollars.’
The entire situation looks a lot like the legal mess that involved Palou last season, in which he attempted to break out of a valid contract he had with Ganassi to drive with McLaren.
Ganassi felt it had the right to extend its star driver past the 2022 season, and took him to court over his attempt to break out of the contract early.
Eventually, an agreement was made wherein Palou remained as a CGR driver for the 2023 season, but was allowed to take part in some testing and preparations with McLaren at the same time.
McLaren used that freedom to give the Spaniard some time behind the wheel of its F1 car while serving as the team’s official F1 reserve driver and preparing for future work together.
This time around it is McLaren that is filing suit against the very same driver as he once again attempts to get himself out of agreements that were made.
The latest lawsuit has a potential to turn even more bitter than the one last year, because the feud between McLaren CEO Zak Brown and CGR owner Chip Ganassi has only become more public and intense of late.
While Palou’s racing future is being sorted out, he remains as driver of the #10 CGR Honda, and holds a 101-point lead in the championship standings with just three races remaining in the season.