McLaren have announced that 2021 IndyCar champ Alex Palou will be one of their F1 Reserve Drivers in 2023. Exciting times are ahead for Alex!
Although the news of a new reserve driver at the Papaya team might not be a huge surprise as most of their reserve options this year have moved on, Palou is an interesting choice.
Oscar Piastri was previously loaned to McLaren by Alpine for an F1 reserve role in 2022. However, we all know how that ended, and now the young Aussie has a race seat with McLaren next season.
Other 2022 options also included Nyck de Vries, who is racing at AlphaTauri next year, and the likes of Stoffel Vandoorne and even Paul di Resta – yes, really.
Palou certainly has an interesting relationship with McLaren, with their IndyCar division trying to poach him from the Chip Ganassi Racing team for 2023, but that eventually fell through after a legal battle.
Alex has still been able to work with McLaren’s F1 operation, though, getting an FP1 chance at the United States Grand Prix earlier this year and impressing with his performance.
Introducing our 2023 Formula 1 reserve driver. Welcome to the team, @AlexPalou! 🙌🧡
Find out more below. 👇
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) December 1, 2022
“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,” said Alex.
“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.”
Who would you pick as a Reserve Driver for your F1 team?