McLaren has appointed 2021 IndyCar champion Alex Palou as one of its reserve drivers for the 2023 Formula 1 season.
Palou agreed a deal to join McLaren Racing from 2023 but after a contractual saga remained at Chip Ganassi Racing for the upcoming IndyCar season.
As part of the resolution Palou was permitted to link up with McLaren for Formula 1 outings.
Palou participated in McLaren’s TPC programme in recent months and also made his FP1 debut at the US Grand Prix, per Formula 1’s new-for-2022 rookie regulation.
Palou will now provide back-up at grands prix that do not conflict with his IndyCar commitments.
New McLaren driver Oscar Piastri acted as its reserve driver in 2022 as part of a loan arrangement the team had with Alpine.
“I’m excited to be part of the McLaren team as one of their reserve drivers in 2023,” said Palou.
“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 boss Andreas Seidl outlined that Palou “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.”
McLaren has Piastri under contract on a multi-year deal while Lando Norris signed an agreement through 2025 at the start of the season.
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