McLaren have announced the signing of two talented young drivers to their development programme, including Formula 3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto.
The young Brazilian is still only 18 years old, but drove superbly in 2023 to take six podiums, two race wins and, ultimately, the F3 championship.
McLaren's driver development programme was set up in April, looking to facilitate the progression of young drivers into Formula 1.
Bortoleto joins a talented group of young drivers that includes McLaren IndyCar driver Pato O'Ward, Ugo Ugochukwu and their reserve driver for 2024, Ryo Hirakawa.
"McLaren Racing today announced that Gabriel Bortoleto, the 2023 FIA Formula 3 Champion, has joined the McLaren Driver Development programme," the Woking-based outfit announced on their official website.
"Gabriel will work under the mentorship of former McLaren test driver, Formula 1 driver and Le Mans winner, Emanuele Pirro, who leads the programme."
As well as signing the Brazilian, they have also signed a one-year option on Italian Formula 4 driver Brando Badoer, meaning he will be assessed for a year before the team decide whether or not to sign him to the programme full-time.
Badoer is the son of former F1 driver Luca Badoer and, despite being just 17, has shown some real promise in the Italian F4 series.
McLaren's young driver pairing of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri is arguably the most envied on the F1 grid, but these signings are presumably made with one eye on the future, with Norris' current contract expiring in 2025, and Piastri's in 2026.
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