How they must have laughed at McLaren when Piastre responded to Alpine’s snarky tweet (because that’s what it was called). With America on the exact opposite side of the spectrum, the group laughed really hard. There, two-time IndyCar champion Alex Palo is keeping people busy. The Spanish IndyCar champion refused to get into an F1 car.
Traction on Baloo began in 2021. At the end of the year, Ballou wanted to switch from Chip Ganassi’s IndyCar team to the Arrow McLaren IndyCar team. Paulo wanted to try such an F1 car, maybe even try for a seat in F1. Ganasi blocked it. He went to court and won.
IndyCar champion abandons F1 dream with McLaren
Ganassi and McLaren later raced Baloo for Ganassi in IndyCar, but the Spaniard decided to become a reserve driver for McLaren. Baloo was allowed to appear in the role during the 2022 US GP. There he rode during the first free practice.
Alex Ballou during the first free practice for the 2022 US GP | Photo: © McLaren
Baloo will switch to McLaren entirely this year. But now the driver himself has fallen into it. He no longer wants to become an F1 driver and doesn’t know what a switch to McLaren will get him. He wants to stay with Ganasi, which is understandable. Paulo will win the championship in 2021, finishing fifth last year and winning the title for the second time this year. The best-placed McLaren, Pado O’Ward, finished fourth in IndyCar this year.
As Baloo is done with F1, he doesn’t want to do any more testing for the McLaren F1 team. His next practice is scheduled for this week. Balu has to show what he can do during the free training in Singapore. He misses the chance: ‘Yes, the plan has changed. I’m not going to race F1,” says the driver race.
You can imagine McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown was disappointed. So McLaren has decided to sue the driver. Paulo’s appearance will add more salt to the wounds. According to Brown, Balu should come to Singapore.
However, Brown is adamant that Baloo won’t show up, even though the group still “booked a hotel room for him.” So the room is mostly empty. It is not yet known who will vote in Balu’s place. O’Ward still has a chance to fly. Mick Schumacher is also available as a Mercedes test driver.
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