RACING

Ganassi blocks Palou’s access to certain IndyCar data

ADVERTISEMENT

IndyCar champion Alex Palou has confirmed he was cut from some pre-race data from Chip Ganassi Racing in light of his team’s battle with McLaren over its future, but played down the impact it would have. had on his pre-race preparation.

A fight started over Palou’s future after his current side Ganassi announced a contract extension for 2023 two weeks ago, but hours later Palou refuted a quote from him in that announcement and told him and McLaren Racing have announced that he is going there next season.

ADVERTISEMENT

He was as candid as possible about the situation when he later faced the media at the Toronto race last weekend, and did the same at Iowa Speedway on Friday, where he admitted he had lost access to some of his remote dating sources since before Toronto. .

“I still have the same kind of communication with my team, my three engineers and my crew and all that,” said Palou.

“It’s true that I don’t have access to the data and everything that I had before, like from home and while I’m here.

” What I understand. I mean, it’s normal. I think I would do the same if it was my team. So yes, that has changed. But I understand. It’s not that I’m running out of meetings and stuff like that.

“It’s more like not having access to certain documents, which you would do the same.

“So in terms of preparation, I’ve been to the simulation like I used to and I have my laptop here like before, so it’s not like they took their laptop away. So it’s all good good. “

After the Toronto race last week, Felix Rosenqvist – a current driver at McLaren but someone whose IndyCar future likely hinges on where Palou ends up – suggested it was possible Palou might not race not at all next season amid the ongoing struggle between the teams.

Asked by The Race if Palou had considered this or would be happy for it to happen in order to achieve his long-term goal of joining McLaren, he replied: “No, obviously no, I don’t think anyone would be happy.

“In my mind, it’s all about racing. And that’s what we will do next year. »

Toronto was an interesting weekend where Palou crashed out in practice and qualified 22nd after pitting on track, but his comeback in the race to finish sixth was hailed by teammates and teammates .

This was in stark contrast to before race weekend when Scott Dixon criticized Palou’s handling of the contract situation.

Asked about these comments, Palou replied: “I mean, I totally understand or totally accept all the opinions and I have no problem with that.

“And also the relationship with my teammates, or the team itself, hasn’t changed.

“So I understand that everyone is going to have different opinions and they’re going to have a different way of seeing things than you do.

“But at the same time, they’re not in the same position that you might be.”

Of course, Palou’s policy heading into the weekend in Toronto was that rumors wouldn’t impact his on-track handling, but tough race preparation did nothing to quash opinions to the contrary. .

When asked if he felt he needed to prove that it wasn’t affecting him negatively, Palou told The Race: “It hasn’t been as easy as I wanted it to be. But yes, it was important.

“Obviously it was important to start from 22nd to go as far as possible. I wanted more but sixth was good, starting 22nd. And we didn’t do it with strategy and everything. ‘was good.

Alexpalou Hondaindytoronto By Joeskibinski Largeimageswithout watermark M64363

“We had some good moves. It made me feel really comfortable and really confident.

“Yeah, it made me show other pilots, other people that what I say [about his driving not being affected]it’s true, like, there’s a lot of stuff around and I get it and it’s all good.

“I’m not saying it shouldn’t be so. But I’m 100% focused on the racing, the track stuff.

Ultimately, there’s no update from Palou on what might happen next. Ganassi claims this triggered the contract extension and he will stay put, but McLaren still claim to have signed him. Finding who is right will probably not be easy to solve.

And even if Ganassi’s interpretation of the contract situation is correct, Palou has made his ambitions to join McLaren clear and so the teams should agree. It won’t be easy as Chip Ganassi and Zak Brown are notorious for not being friends in the paddock.

Brown reportedly did not see Palou’s Ganassi contract per The Associated Press earlier this week, but McLaren confirmed that was normal procedure and he would not have access to any driver contracts from another team .

Palou didn’t do much to clarify things further – unsurprisingly – when asked if he had a deadline to resolve the situation.

“Today would be good!” he has answered.

“No, to be honest, no. And I have no idea if it’s going to take two days, two weeks or two months.

ADVERTISEMENT