RACE DEBRIEF

    McLaren have announced that IndyCar champion Alex Palou will serve as one of their Formula 1 reserve drivers for the 2023 season.

    The team said Palou will provide support for the F1 outfit alongside his driving duties in IndyCar, and be available as a reserve driver for all Grand Prix events that do not conflict with his IndyCar commitments, should either Lando Norris or new recruit Oscar Piastri be unavailable to drive.

    READ MORE: IndyCar star Alex Palou describes 'perfect' experience testing McLaren MCL35M as he reveals F1 aspirations

    The 25-year-old Spaniard previously took part in a free practice session at the 2022 United States Grand Prix with McLaren, as well as piloting the MCL35M in Barcelona and Spielberg as part of the team’s driver development testing programme. 

    Palou has four wins and 15 podiums in IndyCar and became the first Spanish driver to win the championship when he claimed the 2021 title. 

    “I’m excited to be part of the McLaren team as one of their reserve drivers in 2023,” he said.

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    Palou drove the McLaren during free practice at the US Grand Prix earlier this year

    “I’ve been behind the wheel of both the MCL35M and MCL36 and it has been a great experience, so I can’t wait for the involvement with next year’s car.

    “I look forward to continuing my development as a driver and I appreciate the trust McLaren have in me with this new role next year.” 

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    McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl added: “The team are pleased to have Alex on board as one of our reserve drivers for next season. He impressed with his FP1 session in Austin and his driver development tests this year.

    “He has many notable motorsports achievements so far, particularly the 2021 IndyCar championship title so it’s brilliant to be able to expand his role in the team and we look forward to working more closely with him.”

    Alex Palou grateful for 'present' of driving McLaren in United States GP practice