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F1 team hand driver dream debut before 2024 role

F1 team hand driver dream debut before 2024 role

F1 News

F1 team hand driver dream debut before 2024 role

F1 team hand driver dream debut before 2024 role

McLaren have revealed via social media that they have handed Ryo Hirakawa his first taste of action in a Formula 1 car.

The Japanese driver is 29 years old but has spent the majority of his career racing in different series across the globe, including Super Formula and the World Endurance Championship.

It was announced earlier this year that Hirakawa will be McLaren's reserve driver in 2024, meaning that we will see him take to the track in at least two practice sessions due to F1 rookie regulations.

Now, the Woking-based outfit have shown their fans pictures of Hirakawa in action, behind the wheel of a McLaren F1 car for the first time.

McLaren preparing for the future

Hirakawa is part of McLaren's racing driver development programme, set up earlier this year to give drivers a chance of breaking into F1.

READ MORE: F1 team SUES driver for over $23m

Ryo Hirakawa has spent the majority of his racing career in Super Formula Super GT
McLaren's driver programme is looking strong, with F3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto recently being signed by the team
Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris aren't likely to be going anywhere anytime soon, however, with both having at least two years left on their contracts

With Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri setting the world alight thanks to their excellent performances, there's no guarantee they will stick around at McLaren for their whole careers, particularly if the team can't provide a car capable of winning world championships.

Piastri has recently signed a deal keeping the Australian with the team until 2026, whilst Norris' current contract runs out in 2025.

Alongside the Japanese driver, the programme includes Pato O'Ward, Ugo Ugochukwu and Gabriel Bortoleto.

READ MORE: McLaren address Norris' future as Red Bull links continue

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