SportF1McLaren makes official debut date for Palou and O'Ward...

McLaren makes official debut date for Palou and O'Ward in F1

The Woking team has confirmed that IndyCar drivers Alex Palou and Patricio O’Ward will be at the controls of their MCL36 in the upcoming free practice sessions of the 2022 Formula 1 season.

The Spaniard will do it in FP1 of the United States Grand Prix, replacing Daniel Ricciardo, while the Mexican will do the same with Lando Norris in the first practice of the final appointment in Abu Dhabi.


These tests follow the development tests carried out by both drivers with the old MCL35M from 2021, and will be done with the intention of complying with the FIA sporting regulations that require a rookie driver to get into the current campaign car at least two free practice sessions.

Team principal Andreas Seidl said: “We are delighted to give Alex [Palou] and Pato [O’Ward] the opportunity to take part in free practice with McLaren.”

“With Alex’s successes in IndyCar, it will be helpful for the team to get his feedback on the car and for us to continue evaluating him as a driver,” continued the German.

“Alex and Pato impressed with their recent tests in Barcelona and Austria, and we are delighted to offer them another experience in the MCL36,” acknowledged Seidl. “It’s a great opportunity for them to showcase their skills on the real stage of Formula 1, where the focus will be on helping the team prepare for the race weekend and not afterwards.”

For his part, the 2021 IndyCar champion, who will remain with Chip Ganassi Racing despite the legal battle for his services for next year, commented: “I am very excited to make my debut in a Formula 1 weekend. It’s great to be driving in America in front of fans who may have seen me race IndyCar.”

“Having driven the 2021 MCL35M in a few tests, I am looking forward to putting the MCL36 to the test. I want to help the team in its preparation for the 2022 United States Grand Prix,” said the Barcelona native.

The Mexican, who will be in the final round at Yas Marina, said: “I’m looking forward to getting out on the track in Abu Dhabi. I’ve developed as a driver and I’ve had a lot of fun testing last year’s car with the team, so it’s going to be a great experience driving the MCL36”.

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