April 12, 2024

SINGAPORE: The McLaren Components 1 workforce is bracing for the absence of their reserve driver, Alex Palou, on the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix because the authorized dispute between the motive force and the workforce escalates.

This surprising flip of occasions comes regardless of Alex Palou’s contractual obligation to be current at each Grand Prix following the conclusion of the IndyCar season, as confirmed by McLaren Chief Govt Zak Brown.

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The authorized battle erupted after Alex Palou rejected a transfer to McLaren’s IndyCar operation for the 2024 season. Brown insists that Palou holds a sound contract with McLaren and has already acquired an advance on his wage for the upcoming 12 months.

Alex Palou, who not too long ago clinched his second IndyCar championship, is presently competing within the last spherical of the American-based single-seater sequence at Laguna Seca. He had been anticipated to affix McLaren in Singapore, the place he serves because the reserve driver.

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Alex Palou’s affiliation with McLaren took form this season after a powerful FP1 look on the 2022 United States Grand Prix in Austin. He additionally participated in a three-day check with the workforce on the Hungaroring in June, alongside Oscar Piastri and long-serving check and improvement driver Oliver Turvey. 

One other FP1 outing was on the horizon for Palou, however with the connection between the motive force and the workforce deteriorating, Brown expressed doubt about Palou’s presence in Singapore.

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The breakdown in relations between McLaren and Palou is anticipated to open the door for IndyCar star and former Crimson Bull junior Pato O’Ward, to safe an FP1 alternative earlier than the tip of 2023. 

O’Ward, who has a historical past with McLaren courting again to 2021, beforehand participated within the first observe on the 2022 season finale in Abu Dhabi. Within the rapid future, McLaren can name upon Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher if both Piastri or teammate Lando Norris are unable to race in Singapore. 

The younger German, son of seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher, carried out a personal check with the workforce at Portimao in July, making him a viable alternative possibility for McLaren.

Additionally Learn: Mick Schumacher’s F1 Desires Dwindling: Choices Narrowed Down for the 2024 Grid