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McLaren signs two new drivers to growing roster

McLaren has bolstered its driver academy, adding FIA F3 pair Alex Dunne and Martinius Stenshorne to its ranks.

Mc Laren
To news overview © XPBimages

McLaren has grown its driver development programme, adding FIA F3 racers Alex Dunne and Martinius Stenshorne, with F2's Gabriel Bortoleto already part of the set-up.

The expansion comes soon after the team brought F2 champion Theo Pourchaire into the fold for its IndyCar team, though he remains a Sauber junior.

Dunne, 18, drives for Dutch team MP Motorsport in FIA F3. The Irishman stepped up to the F1 support bill this season, having won British F4 in and coming second in version of the series in 2022 and also finishing runner-up in GB3 last year.

After two rounds of the F3 series, he has six points, following a ninth-place in the Bahrain feature and seventh-position in the Australian sprint.

Stenshorne, meanwhile, has already taken his first victory in the category, winning the shorter race in Melbourne - his only points finish thus far.

The Norwegian, also 18, races for Hitech-Pulse Eight after stepping up from competing in Formula Regional last season.

Whilst he remains in the Middle Eastern version of that championship, his best performances came in FRECA (Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine), where he finished last season in second-place.

Stephanie Carlin, director of F1 business operations has welcomed the duo to the team. Having previous headed up part of Carlin's feeder series programme prior to it being bought out by Rodin, she is well-placed to help in the develop of the two drivers.

“We’re pleased to announce that Alex and Martinius have joined our Driver Development programme," Carlin said.

"They are both exciting and promising young talents within motorsport, with proven records on track in their respective junior categories including this season’s FIA Formula 3 Championship.

“The entire team is looking forward to welcoming Alex and Martinius to the McLaren family and we’ll be working closely to support their development within our talent pipeline.”  

In extension of this, Dunne added: “It’s an honour to join the McLaren Driver Development programme and I’m looking forward to getting started with the team. 

"McLaren provides the perfect environment for me to develop my skillset as I continue my journey in motorsport. I’m grateful for Zak and Stephanie’s support and I’m excited to meet the rest of the team at MTC.”  

Stenshorne said he was looking forward to continuing his development with the team. 

“I’m incredibly excited to join the McLaren Driver Development programme, it’s an honour to now be part of the McLaren family. The team has a great history of developing talent, so I’m looking forward to growing with the team and learning from their expertise as I continue on my journey towards the top of motorsport," he said.

"Thank you to Zak, Stephanie and the entire team for their faith in me, I can’t wait to get started.” 

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look ahead at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The trio discuss last season's cancelled race at Imola, whether McLaren's Miami pace is genuine and if Mercedes teenage sensation Andrea Kimi Antonelli will make his debut before he turns 18.

Want to watch the podcast instead of just listening? Check it out here.

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