McLaren has announced Alex Palou as its Formula One reserve driver for the 2023 season. He will be with the team at events that do not collide with his IndyCar schedule.
The Spanish driver, 25 years old of age, is the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES Champion. In the statement, McLaren explained:
“2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Alex Palou will serve as one of the McLaren Formula 1 Team’s reserve drivers for the 2023 season. Palou will provide support for the team alongside his driving duties in INDYCAR, being available as a reserve driver for the team for all events that do not conflict with his INDYCAR commitments.”
Andreas Seidl, McLaren’s Team Principal, 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.”
The driver is no stranger to F1, having taken part in free practice at the Circuit of the Americas, during the 2022 United States Grand Prix. And having previously driven the MCL35M in both Barcelona and Spielberg, thanks to the McLaren Driver Development testing programme, whose aim is to give young pilots a chance in F1 machinery.
With this new step forward in his career, looking forward to 2023, Palou explained:
“I’m excited to be part of the McLaren team as one of their reserve drivers in 2023. 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.”
4 wins and 15 podiums in INDYCAR seems like a good start for the young driver, who’s eager for new possibilities.