Alex Palou

Two major pieces of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES Silly Season fell into place Wednesday morning when Alex Palou announced he was staying with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2023 and McLaren Racing revealed Felix Rosenqvist will stay with Arrow McLaren SP in INDYCAR next season.

The two announcements, made within minutes of each other, appeared to end a summer-long contract saga between CGR and McLaren Racing over Palou’s driving services next season, which also affected Rosenqvist’s future.

“I’m excited to announce that @CGRTeams and I have come to an agreement, and I’ll be back in the No. 10 car next season!” Palou tweeted Wednesday morning. “Looking forward to a BIG 2023!”

Both drivers will stay with their respective teams for a third season in 2023.

Palou, 25, from Spain, won the NTT INDYCAR SERIES championship in his first season with Ganassi in 2021 on the strength of three victories. He finished fifth in the standings in 2022, winning the season-ending Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey last Sunday in the No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing Honda.

Felix RosenqvistRosenqvist, 30, from Sweden, finished eighth in the standings this season, with a best finish of third in Toronto and 10 top-10 finishes in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. He will be teammates with fellow team veteran Pato O’Ward and AMSP newcomer Alexander Rossi in 2023 as the team expands from two to three cars.

“There’s no better way to enter the offseason than with this news,” Rosenqvist said. “I love this team, and I’m so happy to continue working with all the incredible people I’ve gotten to know over the past two seasons.

“With everything the team has in the pipeline, the continuing relationship with Pato and the addition of Alex Rossi, we are going to bring our A-game for 2023. It will be the most exciting season for me so far. Let it be March already!”

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES futures of Palou and Rosenqvist were roiled July 12 when CGR announced it was exercising its option with Palou to continue driving with the team in 2023 and then, a few hours later, McLaren Racing announced it had signed Palou for 2023 and beyond.

Those surreal dual announcements followed a June 23 announcement by McLaren that it was retaining Rosenqvist with a multiyear contract extension, but with no series announced. McLaren fields teams in Formula One, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Formula E and Extreme E.

Legal action ensued after Ganassi and McLaren’s apparent tug-of-war over Palou, with both teams saying little to nothing publicly about the drama behind the scenes all summer. That maneuvering also put Rosenqvist’s future in question, as it was presumed by many that McLaren would add Palou to the AMSP lineup for 2023 and move Rosenqvist to another series.

McLaren recently signed Oscar Piastri to join Lando Norris in its 2023 F1 lineup, closing that possible door for Palou. And Palou was coy but positive when asked by NBC Sports’ Kevin Lee about the possibility of staying with Ganassi next season during his victory lane interview last Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, leading to increasing speculation he may stay with CGR.

“Thank you Chip (Ganassi), Mike (Hull) and the entire team for your willingness to work together and help support both the team and my personal goals throughout this process,” Palou tweeted Wednesday morning.

The Ganassi team confirmed the signing with this statement: “Alex Palou will remain in the No. 10 car with Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2023 INDYCAR season. The agreement affords him the opportunity to test cars in separate racing series, provided that it does not directly conflict with his INDYCAR commitments. As always, we will support Alex as he seeks a second series championship with the team.”

McLaren’s announcement this morning confirming Rosenqvist’s status also said Palou today performed his first Formula One test with the team’s 2021 MCL35M car.