McLaren fields Indycar drivers for F1 test in Austria

McLaren fields Indycar drivers for F1 test in Austria

The Red Bull Ring has hosted F1 tests for IndyCar champion Alex Palou and McLaren driver Patricio O’Ward.

Alex Palou and Patricio O’Ward had another opportunity to test drive the 2021 MCL35M as part of McLaren’s ongoing testing of the previous year cars program at the Red Bull Ring.

The IndyCar drivers first took the wheel of the vehicle in September at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Palou was engaged in a legal battle with IndyCar team Chip Ganassi Racing at the time over a contractual disagreement, stating that he may race for McLaren in 2023. After several months, Palou and Chip Ganassi Racing reached an amicable agreement to settle the dispute, with Palou ultimately siding with the team and declaring that he would compete with them in 2023.

Champion Palou claims that driving the MCL35M at both circuits has been an excellent learning experience for him while IndyCar is now in its lengthy off-season.

“It’s the second track that we’ve been in an F1 car and it was an awesome learning experience,” Palou said. “This track is super fitting for these cars and I had lots of fun, lots of laps, been a pretty cool off-season so far.”

“Hopefully I get a chance to ‘meet’ this car again because its an awesome project to be part of.”

O’Ward anticipates that McLaren may decide to use him again in their F1 car in the future, especially because he was mentioned along with Palou and Colton Herta as potential team members before they decided to go with Oscar Piastri for 2023.

“It’s a phenomenal facility and always a good day to drive an F1 car. I’m really happy with the progress of the day, just getting more and more comfortable with the car,” O’Ward said. “Every lap that I’m doing it’s just more in the memory bank for when you come back again, just really thankful for McLaren F1.”

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