Chip Ganassi Racing’s Palou, who received his second IndyCar title for the crew at Portland final weekend, had been driving TPC (testing earlier vehicles) equipment as reserve driver for McLaren’s F1 crew forward of his anticipated swap to Arrow McLaren’s IndyCar squad subsequent yr.
This was understood to be a part of an analysis section of his potential to grow to be a part of McLaren’s F1 driver lineup in future.
However his determination firstly of August to carry out a U-turn on that McLaren transfer, to stick with Ganassi, has halted his F1 ambitions.
Palou spoke to pick out group of media, together with Motorsport.com, at Pebble Seashore in California on Wednesday. He defined how his perspective in the direction of F1 has shifted lately, given his age and the shortage of a cast-iron assure of a racing future there.
“There isn’t any hiding, like, for those who take a look at my interviews till ’21, I used to be saying that I used to be not targeted on F1 in any respect,” he stated. “And that was completely true, however issues modified after I received the championship simply because I used to be 24.
“I simply received my first large championship and it was like, ‘What if I attempt one thing?’ It may possibly go sideways, however then I come again [to IndyCar] and I am 27, and I’m nonetheless tremendous younger, and I can nonetheless do it for like 15 or 10 years.
“So, then it modified. [The] door opened a bit bit with McLaren. It was superb. I received to check the [F1] vehicles and likewise Observe One at COTA final yr, which was superb. The chance was nice, however there was nothing else there saying, ‘Oh, you should have a automobile’.
“On the similar time, if I used to be 20, perhaps I’d’ve waited. However I am not 20, I am 26. And on that aspect, I do not know if there’s been anyone [aged] 30 entering into F1.”
Alex Palou, McLaren MCL36
Photograph by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Photographs
After claiming the title in Portland on Sunday, when requested by Motorsport.com if he nonetheless harbors ideas of switching to F1 sooner or later, Palou replied: “No, I stated it many occasions that it was not my totally focus. Then when a chance got here, I needed to go for it, I felt.
“On the similar time, I do know I am not 21 or 19. I am already 26, which is sweet. I am not saying I am previous, however I imply, it isn’t that I am tremendous younger. So, subsequent yr I will be 27. If an [F1] alternative comes sooner or later, which is like actually, actually small probabilities, I am going to give it some thought for certain, 100%.
“However I am comfortable actually. So long as I carry on successful championships and races or battling for championships I believe I am going to have an important profession.”
Palou has been instructed by his legal professionals to not touch upon any contractual issues, as McLaren has taken authorized motion in opposition to him by the UK Excessive Court docket.
When requested if he was stunned by McLaren’s plan of action, he replied: “No, I used to be anticipating it. I imply, perhaps not that method of like doing stuff. However yeah, I used to be anticipating [it] sooner slightly than later that there was going to be some motion, for certain.”