Spanish IndyCar driver Alex Palou will be one of McLaren’s reserve Formula 1 drivers in 2023.
The 25-year-old will be McLaren’s reserve at all grand prix events that don’t clash with his IndyCar commitments, where Palou races for the Ganassi team.
Palou, who won the 2021 IndyCar title, has driven this year for McLaren in testing at the United States Grand Prix and in two private tests.
McLaren did not say who would fill the role at other times.
In 2022, the team had access to a total of four reserve drivers.
Palou said he was “excited” about his new position and was looking forward to continuing his development as a pilot.
Team Principal Andreas Seidl said: “Alex has impressed with his first practice session in Austin and his driver development tests this year.
“He has many notable achievements in motorsport so far, in particular the 2021 IndyCar Championship title, so it’s great to be able to expand his role in the team and we look forward to working with him more closely. ”
Earlier this year, Palou was embroiled in a contract dispute between McLaren and Ganassi in IndyCar, when the two teams said he was contracted to them for the 2023 season.
After legal threats and Ganassi taking legal action against Palou, an agreement was reached between the parties that he would continue with Ganassi in IndyCar next season while being allowed to test for McLaren.
Palou is expected to join McLaren’s IndyCar team in 2024.
In F1, McLaren have lead driver Lando Norris under contract until the end of 2025 and have secured rookie Oscar Piastri at least until the end of 2024.