Palou takes over from Piastri in three-day McLaren test at Hungaroring

2023 F1 season

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IndyCar points leader Alex Palou is testing for McLaren at the home of the Hungarian Grand Prix today.

McLaren is holding a three-day test at the Hungaroring which will hold the 11th round of this year’s world championship next month. It is running its 2021 chassis, the MCL35M, in a sponsor-free livery.

Race driver Oscar Piastri began the test yesterday before Palou took over. Test and development driver Oliver Turvey will drive the car on Friday.

Palou drives for McLaren’s rivals Ganassi in IndyCar. The two teams were involved in a legal dispute over his services last year which was resolved with Palou remaining at Ganassi this season while joining McLaren’s new junior driver programme and becoming the team’s F1 reserve driver.

McLaren revealed on social media it is testing at the Hungaroring, which will hold the 11th round of this year’s world championship next month. The team is running its 2021 chassis, the MCL35M.

Palou made his debut in an official F1 race weekend when he drove during the first practice session for
the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas last year. McLaren ran him in one of the minimum of two occasions teams are required to field a driver who has made no more than two grand prix starts.

The other opportunity was taken by McLaren IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. O’Ward is another of McLaren’s junior drivers, along with Formula 4 racer Ugo Ugochukwu.

Palou is enjoying a strong run of form in IndyCar, taking pole position for the last three races in a row and winning two of them.

Image: McLaren via Twitter

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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2 comments on “Palou takes over from Piastri in three-day McLaren test at Hungaroring”

  1. Too bad it’s only the 2021 car. The 2022-2023 era cars are more similiar in characteristic to the IndyCars he’s a master of.
    Anyway, McLaren has an amazing group of drivers. If only they had a winning car, it’d make no difference if it were Norris, Palou or O’Ward driving it.

  2. Alex is so good, so smooth. He’ll do great in F1, but hope he’s stay in IndyCar. Good luck.

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