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McLaren adds F3 champion to driver development programme

McLaren has signed its latest young star as part of its driver development programme.

To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren has announced the latest signing to its development programme with Formula 3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto joining its set-up.

Bortoleto, who raced for Trident in the FIA F3 Championship this year, won the title last month at Monza.

The 18-year-old scored two victories in the opening two rounds, with his run of consistency in the remaining events helping him en route to the championship.

The Brazilian driver is part of the A14 Management system, a driver development programme founded by two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso.

The McLaren Driver Development Programme is headed by Emanuele Pirro and has seen drivers such as Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris reach F1.

The programme currently has four members, with Bortoleto joining Ryo Hirakawa, Pato O’Ward and Ugo Ugochukwu.

McLaren has also signed a one-year option on Italian F4 driver Brando Badoer, with the potential option to sign him full time at the end of an evaluation period.

“I’m excited to be joining the McLaren Driver Development programme,” Bortoleto said. “I’m grateful to McLaren for giving me this opportunity.

“I’ve already been in the MTC for a tour and to meet the team, which was a really nice experience. I’m looking forward to continuing working on my development alongside a great team.”

Culture fit

“I’m pleased to welcome Gabriel to the McLaren Driver Development programme," said programme director Emanuele Pirro

"I’ve known him well since the beginning of his motorsport career and he’s got all that is needed on and off track to be a star. He also fits very well with our team culture at McLaren. I look forward to working with Gabriel and helping him develop in his motorsport career.

“I also look forward to working with Brando Badoer, who we sign as an Optioned Driver, as we continue to evaluate him over the next year

“They join our talented line-up of drivers who we will be working with on their individual development, to give them the tools they need to progress in their careers."

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