McLaren will hand practice outings to IndyCar racers Alex Palou and Pato O’Ward in the United States and Abu Dhabi respectively.
The pair will fulfil McLaren’s obligation to run rookie drivers at two grands prix in 2022.
Palou won the 2021 IndyCar championship and signed for McLaren for 2023, only to remain at Ganassi amid a contractual dispute.
However part of the resolution led to Palou being able to take up Formula 1 opportunities with McLaren and he recently tested the MCL35M in Spain and Austria respectively.
He will now make his FP1 debut in the MCL36 at the Circuit of the Americas next Friday in place of regular racer Daniel Ricciardo.
“I’m so excited to be making my F1 weekend debut,” said Palou. “It’s great to be driving in the United States in front of fans that may have seen me race in INDYCAR.
“Having driven the 2021 McLaren MCL35M in a few tests now, I can’t wait to put the MCL36 through its paces. I look forward to helping the team in their preparation for the 2022 United States Grand Prix.”
McLaren IndyCar racer O’Ward linked up with its Formula 1 team for last December’s rookie test in Abu Dhabi and has since had a handful of private runs in its machinery.
O’Ward will get his FP1 chance at the season-ending event in Abu Dhabi, taking Lando Norris’ car for the session.
“I can’t wait to get out on track in Abu Dhabi,” said O’Ward. “I’ve developed as a driver and had a lot of fun testing last year’s car with the team, so it will be a great experience to drive the MCL36. Thank you McLaren F1 for the opportunity.”
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