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IndyCar champ Palou announces move to McLaren for 2023

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The reigning IndyCar champion has announced a shocking move for the 2023 season.

Alex Palou announced on Tuesday night that he will be joining McLaren for the 2023 season.

However, Palou’s announcement came hours after his current team, Chip Ganassi Racing, announced the team had picked up his option for the 2023 season.

“It’s a great feeling knowing I’ll be back with Chip Ganassi Racing next season,” Palou was quoted in the press release.

But later in the day, Palou said Ganassi’s announcement was false.

“I have recently learned from the media that this afternoon, without my approval, Chip Ganassi Racing issued a press release announcing that I would be driving with CGR in 2023.

Even more surprising was that CGR’s release included a  ‘quote’ which did not come from me,” Palou said on Twitter. “I did not approve that press release, and I did not author or approve that quote. As I have recently informed CGR, for personal reasons, I do not intend to continue with the team after 2022.”

That tweet was quickly followed with McLaren’s announcement that Palou will be joining their organization for 2023.

“We have always said that we want the best talent at McLaren, and it’s exciting to be able to include Alex on that list,” McLaren Racing CEO Zac Brown said in a statement.

Missing in McLaren’s statement is clarification on which series Palou will be racing in.

McLaren’s Formula 1 team features the struggling Daniel Ricciardo. His status for 2023 has not been solidified.

McLaren has recently had current IndyCar drivers Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta testing for the team. The team now adds another top IndyCar driver to its stable.

Arrow McLaren SP has also not stated if Felix Rosenqvist will return to the IndyCar team for 2023 or if he will be placed in another series under McLaren branding.

O’Ward and recent signee Alexander Rossi are currently expected to be representing the team in IndyCar in 2023. The team will be expanding from two cars to three cars next season.

Rumors of Palou’s move to McLaren were first publicly reported by Jenna Fryer of The Associated Press in early June.

Following Palou’s announcement, News 8 reached out to Chip Ganassi Racing.

“We can confirm that Alex Palou is under contract with the team through 2023,” officials said in a statement to News 8.