McLaren Reveals New Reserve Driver for 2024 Season

Mexican racing driver Pato O’Ward has been named as McLaren’s new reserve driver in Formula 1 for the 2024 season, replacing Spaniard Alex Palou who pulled out at the last minute.

Highlights

‣ Alex Palou was originally set to be McLaren’s new reserve driver in Formula 1, but he did not fulfill his contractual obligations.
‣ Pato O’Ward, a former Red Bull Junior and rival of Palou’s in the American racing class, has taken the vacant spot as McLaren’s new reserve driver.
‣ O’Ward has been competing for McLaren in IndyCar for several seasons and is now eligible for an FIA Super License.
‣ McLaren Formula One team boss, Andrea Stella, expressed delight at O’Ward’s arrival and looks forward to seeing him progress in his new role.


Well, it seems there’s been a bit of a shake-up. Initially, Alex Palou, the IndyCar champ, was all set to take on a particular role. But, in a surprising turn of events, the Spaniard announced at the eleventh hour that he wouldn’t be fulfilling his contractual obligations.

So, who’s stepping in? None other than Pato O’Ward, a rival of Palou’s in the American racing class. The Mexican racer is now filling the vacant spot as McLaren’s new reserve driver in Formula 1.

You might remember O’Ward from his time as a former Red Bull Junior. He’s been competing for McLaren in IndyCar for several seasons now. This weekend, he’s in Abu Dhabi, ready to participate in FP1. And for 2024? He’s been added to the British team’s pool of reserve drivers.

Super Licence? Check.

Andrea Stella, the big boss of the McLaren Formula One team, couldn’t hide his excitement about O’Ward’s arrival. He said, “We’re thrilled to welcome Pato O’Ward to our pool of reserve drivers for the 2024 season. Pato’s had a stellar season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and has done well in his Driver Development tests. It felt like the right move to take this next step now that he’s eligible for an FIA Super License. With our packed calendar, it’s wise to ensure we have a wide pool of drivers that we can call upon if needed. We’re excited to see him progress in this new role.”

And what about O’Ward himself? He’s pumped! “I’m excited to take on this new role within the McLaren Racing family,” he said. “I’ve spent a lot of time with the F1 team, having driven previously in free practice and taken part in a few tests. I’ve always said it’s never a bad day when you get to jump into an F1 car, so I look forward to joining the reserve driver pool for next year alongside my driving duties with Arrow McLaren. Big thanks to Andrea and Zak for this fantastic opportunity.”

And there you have it. Stay tuned for more updates.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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