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McLaren test IndyCar stars at Austria

IndyCar champion Alex Palou and McLaren driver Patricio O'Ward have been given F1 tests at the Red Bull Ring.

McLaren's 'testing of previous cars' programme has continued at the Red Bull Ring where once again Alex Palou and Patricio O'Ward were given chances to drive the 2021 MCL35M. The IndyCar stars have previously driven the car at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in September, when both drivers got behind the wheel for the first time. At the time Palou was in a legal battle with IndyCar team Chip Ganassi Racing over a contract dispute, claiming that he could drive for McLaren in 2023. After several months, both Palou and Chip Ganassi Racing resolved the matter out of court, eventually siding with the team and announcing that he would be racing with them in 2023.

Palou: Driving MCL35M "awesome learning experience"

With IndyCar currently in its long off-season, champion Palou says that driving the MCL35M at both circuits has been a great "learning experience" for him. "It's the second track that we've been in an F1 car and it was an awesome learning experience. This track is super fitting for these cars and I had lots of fun," said Palou. "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 expects McLaren could opt to run him again in their F1 car in the future, especially as he was linked along with Palou and Colton Herta with potentially joining the team before they went for 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 commented. "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." Check out the pictures from the test below...