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Zak Brown

Brown: No F1 promises made to Palou and O'Ward

Alex Palou and Pato O'Ward are on the McLaren F1 books in 2023, but Zak Brown is firm that no promises have been made over their futures.

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McLaren boss Zak Brown says he has made "no promises" to IndyCar stars Alex Palou and Pato O'Ward as they prepare for Formula 1 reserve duties.

After a protracted saga in the summer of 2022, a deal was agreed so that Chip Ganassi driver Palou - the 2021 IndyCar champion - would be the official reserve driver for McLaren with O'Ward in a testing role.

This is because as a champion, Palou has earned enough superlicence points while O'Ward - who actually races for McLaren in IndyCar - is still lacking the points he requires to obtain the document.

Brown is confident that his driver will secure the necessary points in the upcoming season to qualify, but is firm that neither Palou or O'Ward have received any promises from him regarding an F1 future.

Brown on Palou and O'Ward future

"We announced Alex as our reserve driver because he has his superlicence," Brown exclusively told RacingNews365.com when asked about the futures of Palou and O'Ward.

"He'll continue testing with us and Pato will continue as well once we solidify our testing plans, but he doesn't have a superlicence.

"I would think and hope that he'd be eligible for it at the end of the IndyCar season [in 2023], but [there are] no promises [beyond that] other than opportunity.

"As we know, the sport moves fast and things happen.

"So to have two guys in IndyCar that carry a superlicence and have both been very impressive in a Formula 1 car gives us great depth in our racing and driving possibilities.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Brown hopeful of IndyCar success

The McLaren boss also detailed how the team intends to fight for the IndyCar championship - and highlighted how the competitive nature of the racing can lead to huge championship swings.

"We definitely want to be top three and competing for the championship," he explained.

"We want to have three cars fighting for the championship, but it is such a competitive [series].

"Coming into the [2022 season finale] at Laguna Seca, five cars could have won the championship so it is quite easy to fall from third to seventh with one bad race, unlike Formula 1 where things kind of settle in a little bit more.

"I was reading that in IndyCar, it's been 17 years in a row where the championship has come down to the last race.

"In Formula 1, [to make] a move in championship position is quite substantial [in terms of points], but you can go from third to seventh with one DNF in IndyCar."

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But what are the origins of this world-famous tradition? And with so many litres of this luxury drink sprayed throughout the season, how much money does such a champagne shower actually cost?

Check out our handy explainer video below.

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