Alex Palou admits some recent poor outings have made his IndyCar Championship title defence “difficult”, but he denies his souring relationship with Chip Ganassi Racing has affected his performances on track.
The Spaniard currently sits sixth in the standings on 379 points, having failed to secure a win so far in 2022. Perhaps more worrisome for the defending champion is the fact he trails leader Will Power by 52 points with just four races remaining.
While Palou faces an uphill battle on the track, he faces a different set of challenges off it as well. After Chip Ganassi Racing announced they had exercised an option in Palou‘s contract for 2023, he disputed the claim, with McLaren later announcing they had signed the Spaniard.
Chip Ganassi responded by filing a civil lawsuit against Palou, who continues to race for the team, for breach of contract.
Despite the legal wrangling between the two parties the Spaniard doesn’t believe it’s impacted his performances on track despite finishing no better than sixth at the last four races.
“The current situation with the team is not ideal, but I don’t think it’s affecting my performance on the track,” Palou wrote in his column for SoyMotor.com.
“It’s more a question of the fact that we lost a lot of points in the second race in Iowa and especially in the last one in Indianapolis, which broke all our expectations.
“We are now 52 points behind the championship leader. Even so, we still have a chance and we are here to fight until the end.
“And above all else, I ask for a little patience and understanding because right now I can’t speak.”
Palou looking forward to Nashville
Next up is this weekend’s Big Machine Music City Grand Prix at the Nashville Street Circuit, with Palou revealing he’ll have some additional support in the stands.
“Nashville makes me especially excited because my whole family will be with me,” Palou said.
“Last week my parents arrived in the United States with my grandparents, my uncles and some friends, and the idea is that this weekend they will all be at the circuit to watch the race.
“It will be like when I raced in Montmelo or in karting, when everyone came to the circuit to support me.
“They have made a great effort to come from home and this does not happen every day, so I will try to enjoy it.”