OKBET MOTOR RACING | Alex Palou and Pato O’Ward, both IndyCar racers, will be participating in McLaren’s FP1 practices in Austin and Abu Dhabi, respectively


Both Alex Palou and Pato O’Ward, regulars in the IndyCar series, will make their Formula 1 debuts for McLaren this season during opening practice sessions at race weekends.

Both drivers had tested the McLaren from the previous season in private sessions, and now they’ll receive their first taste of the latest F1 equipment during a Grand Prix weekend as McLaren aims to satisfy its regulatory need to provide two junior drivers with practice laps.

Next week at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Daniel Ricciardo’s vehicle will be driven by Palou, the 2021 IndyCar champion from Spain.

At the same time, Arrow McLaren SP driver Pato O’Ward will pilot the MCL36 during opening day of practice for the season finale in Abu Dhabi.

Palou said, “I can’t wait to go out on the track for my first Formula One weekend. It is amazing to be racing in front of American fans who may have watched me compete in IndyCar back home.

I can’t wait to put the MCL36 through its paces after having test driven the 2021 McLaren MCL35M on many occasions. I’m excited to contribute to the team’s efforts leading up to the 2022 U.S. Grand Prix.

I can’t wait to go out on the track in Abu Dhabi,” O’Ward remarked. Because of my growth as a driver and the team’s positive atmosphere during testing of last year’s car, I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the MCL36. I appreciate the chance, McLaren F1.

“We’re thrilled to provide Alex and Pato the chance to take part in Free Practice sessions with McLaren,” McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said. Alex’s input on the vehicle and our ongoing assessment of him as a driver will be invaluable in light of his recent achievements in IndyCar.

Alex and Pato blew us away in recent testing in Barcelona and Austria, so we’re thrilled to give them a go at the MCL36. It’s a fantastic opportunity for them to show off their abilities on the international Formula One stage, with the primary goal being to aid the team in getting ready for the race weekend rather than setting personal best lap speeds.




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