2021 IndyCar champion Palou joins McLaren as F1 reserve driver

IndyCar's 2021 champion Alex Palou will be the McLaren Formula 1 team's reserve driver during the 2023 season, the Woking squad announced on Thursday.

2021 IndyCar champion Palou joins McLaren as F1 reserve driver

The Spaniard, who took his first IndyCar title with Ganassi in only his second season in the series, made his grand prix weekend debut this year when he drove the McLaren in opening practice for the United States Grand Prix.

He had also tested the MCL35M at Barcelona and the Red Bull Ring as part of his role in the squad's driver development programme.

Palou will compete in IndyCar next year, but will be serving as McLaren's reserve whenever the American series' races don't clash with F1 grands prix. Presently, the series' will clash on 12 occasions in 2023.

"I'm excited to be part of the McLaren team as one of their reserve drivers in 2023," said the 25-year-old Spaniard.

"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."

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.

Alex Palou, McLaren MCL36

Alex Palou, McLaren MCL36

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

"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."

Palou will remain with Ganassi for his fourth season in IndyCar. This year, the Catalan driver finished fifth in the standings.

McLaren will have Lando Norris and rookie Oscar Piastri - the 2021 FIA Formula 2 champion in their Formula 1 line-up next season, the Australian replacing compatriot Daniel Ricciardo alongside the Briton.

Ricciardo will return to reigning F1 world champions Red Bull - with whom he raced from 2014 to 2018 - as a reserve driver, having initially been linked with a move to Mercedes in the same role.

shares
comments

Related video

McLaren boss Brown backs F1 driver calls for qualifying red flag penalties
Previous article

McLaren boss Brown backs F1 driver calls for qualifying red flag penalties

Next article

Latifi: Having "nothing to lose" didn't ease late-season F1 frustration

Latifi: Having "nothing to lose" didn't ease late-season F1 frustration
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023