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Drama in IndyCar as two teams announce champion on same day

IndyCar champion Alex Palou is at the centre of a bizarre development after two teams laid claim to his services for the 2023 season.

An unusual situation arose in the world of IndyCar on Tuesday as reigning champion Alex Palou found himself confirmed in a seat by two teams. The chain of events kicked off when Palou's current outfit, Chip Ganassi Racing, announced that the 25-year-old Spaniard would be remaining onboard for a third consecutive campaign in 2023. Later in the day, McLaren Racing - which operate squads in IndyCar, Formula 1, Formula E and Extreme E - issued a press release stating that they had signed Palou in a deal starting next year. Amid the confusion, Palou made clear that he intends to leave Chip Ganassi Racing at the end of 2022 and start a new chapter at McLaren.

Palou reacts with social media posts

Taking to social media, Palou wrote: "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. 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. "This evening's unfortunate events aside, I have great respect for the CGR team, and look forward to finishing this season strongly together."

Where will Palou end up racing for McLaren?

McLaren's press release did not specifically confirm where Palou will race in 2023, even if it is expected that he will continue in IndyCar. Alongside his unspecified racing duties next year, Palou will get mileage in McLaren's 2021-spec F1 car with fellow IndyCar racers Pato O'Ward and Colton Herta. As an IndyCar champion, Palou has enough points to qualify for a Super Licence, meaning an F1 switch is theoretically possible. McLaren's announcement included the line that their "full driver line-ups" across their various racing series will be confirmed "in due course".