IndyCar ace speaks out as F1 2024 rumours continue to intensify

Thomas Maher
McLaren reserve Alex Palou watches on at the Miami Grand Prix.

Alex Palou will not be a McLaren driver in 2024.

IndyCar star Alex Palou thinks his seat for 2024 won’t be affected by the results he achieves this season, in light of current F1 rumours.

The 2021 IndyCar champion has won three of the last four races in the series and enjoys a comfortable 74-point lead in the championship. Currently racing for Chip Ganassi, Palou’s contract with the outfit comes to an end at the conclusion of 2023, raising questions as to what’s next for the Spaniard.

Palou is currently a reserve driver for the McLaren F1 team and, earlier this month, tested for the team at the Hungaroring – this followed on from his free practice outing with McLaren at last year’s United States Grand Prix.

Alex Palou linked with F1 seat for 2024

Rumours have recently emerged linking Palou to a seat at AlphaTauri as a possible replacement for the struggling Nyck de Vries, particularly after Red Bull’s Helmut Marko revealed that he and Christian Horner had disagreed over hiring the Dutch racer.

According to the Indy Star, several teams are interested in signing Palou, with the Spaniard’s management team making overtures to the F1 teams up and down the paddock.

“The clock is ticking, with an all-important end of July deadline that has to play out,” the report claimed.

“Palou’s Monaco Increase Management team has been making a full-court press to try and find a ride for the 26-year-old Spaniard to slot into for the 2024 F1 campaign.

Palou was asked about the prospect of making the series switch and, asked whether his achievements this year might have a bearing on where he ends up next season, he downplayed the suggestion.

“I don’t really think so,” he said.

“Honestly, I don’t think that by winning more races we will get one seat or the other seat, one seat in F1. I don’t think getting different results will affect our season for next year, honestly.

“I think already what we did in ’21 was a big accomplishment that I’m really happy of, winning the first championship in my second season in IndyCar.

“I don’t think that what we’re doing this year… It’s very different from what we did in ’21. Yeah, I don’t think it’s going to change much.”

Having spent his career in the European racing ladder up until 2019, it’s not surprising that, having reached the top of the American single-seater championship, Palou has been linked with a switch back to Europe and to Formula 1.

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Having been involved in a contract tug-of-war between McLaren and Chip Ganassi for 2023, Palou also hinted at being very happy where he is after CGR secured his services, despite his McLaren F1 role.

With his future plans still up in the air, Palou was reluctant to say anything other than express confidence in his current employers.

“Absolutely, we’re doing great, so…” he said after the race in Detroit.

“Yeah, with the experience that obviously I had put myself into last year, I’m not going to comment [on] anything before I announce directly. I learned that from last year.

“Obviously yeah, I mean, as I said, we had great race cars every weekend. We had chances to win every weekend. Yeah, we’ll keep it going.”

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