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McLaren announce their new Driver Development Programme

McLaren announce Driver Development programme

April 22, 2023

British Formula One team McLaren Racing have announced the launch of their brand new McLaren Driver Development programme, which will be headed by former Formula One driver, McLaren test driver, and Le Mans winner, Emanuele Pirro.

The programme is aimed at supporting the development of young, up-and-coming drivers — from their karting days to professional racing into Formula One. It will also support established drivers across other series, giving them a chance to gain Formula One experience.

McLaren have also stated that the programme will create a talent pipeline for the McLaren Formula 1 Team, the Arrow McLaren IndyCar Team, and the NEOM McLaren Formula E Team, in either a race seat or test- and development-driver capacity.

McLaren’s Driver Development programme currently consists of Arrow McLaren IndyCar Driver Pato O’Ward, McLaren Formula 1 Team Reserve Driver Álex Palou, and McLaren Young Driver Ugo Ugochukwu.

Zak Brown, McLaren Racing CEO, said:

McLaren has a long history of developing emerging talent into top-level racing drivers and I’m proud that it will continue long into the future. We have an experienced team here at McLaren, who will be ably led by Emanuele, that are capable of providing the support and resources required to develop raw young talent into highly competitive professional racing drivers.

With McLaren’s wide racing portfolio across Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E, we’re well placed to help develop young talent from the very start of their careers all the way through to full time racing or test and development roles. We already have an exciting stable of talent, featuring Pato, Alex and Ugo, and I’m excited to continue supporting their development as we start to build the McLaren Driver Development programme.

Emanuele Pirro, Director, McLaren Driver Development Programme, added:

I am thrilled by this assignment for several reasons. McLaren played a crucial role in my career by giving me the opportunity to earn an F1 drive and to elevate myself to a higher level by working alongside Senna, Prost and Berger. Together with my team, my role will assist in creating a state-of-the-art programme, selecting the best possible drivers and providing them with all the tools they need to make the best use of their talent. Furthermore, embed them in the McLaren mission, vision and values and hopefully, have one of them progress to the F1 team.

An important asset for us are the IndyCar and Formula E teams, which will give extra opportunities for a professional career to our McLaren Driver Development members. I love working with young drivers and helping them grow and improve. Every time I did it in the past has been an enriching experience and I look forward to doing it again. McLaren has an amazing history in F1. It means a lot to me, and I am hugely proud to be part of this programme. I am grateful to Zak Brown and Andrea Stella for giving me this great opportunity.

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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