Deflecting contract questions, Alex Palou adamant he still can win title: ‘I’m a warrior’

·2 min read

Though conceding the situation was “not ideal,” defending NTT IndyCar series champion Alex Palou remained adamant his performance will be unaffected by his contract dispute with Chip Ganassi Racing.

Addressing the media for the first time since Ganassi and McLaren Racing both claimed his services for 2023, Palou mostly deflected questions about his future while wearing a brave face about the present.

“One hundred percent,” Palou told NBC Sports’ Dave Burns when asked if he and his No. 10 Dallara-Honda team can remain focused and win a second consecutive championship over the final eight races this season. “Why not? Obviously it’s not ideal. Especially for my crew and the people around me.

“But for myself, it’s all right. I’m a warrior, so this is not going to stop me. If people think this is going to affect me on track or something, they don’t know who I am. It’s all good. It’s all good with the crew as well. Everybody is supporting us, and we have the the same target for the season to get the No. 10 NTT Data car in victory lane.”

Palou said he had talked to Chip Ganassi after disputing the team’s assertion that he was under contract for next season. Asked how the conversation went, Palou said, “We are professionals and understand and know how to talk. It went OK. I’m here, so.”

Palou said he was unsure if the team had considered replacing him at Toronto, and he expects to remain in the car through the end of 2022.

He refused to comment on his contract status or whether he had spoken with McLaren since Tuesday.

“I do not intend to comment on my intentions,” Palou said. “I don’t have anything else to what I said on Tuesday. Everything is good. We’re here in Toronto.”

Palou, who is making his Toronto debut, went on a track walk with his team Thursday night and said the situation wasn’t awkward with his team members.

“We all understand this is a big part of the sport and the business,” Palou said. “They are not involved with that, and I have full support with the team.

“We’re here to win. We have a championship to win. We’re fourth in the championship and had a really good season together. We’ll try our best to win in Toronto and try to win together.”

Deflecting contract questions, Alex Palou adamant he still can win title: ‘I’m a warrior’ originally appeared on NBCSports.com