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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

McLaren “excited” by new F1 junior Bortoleto

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The workforce introduced lately that the Brazilian – who turned 19 final weekend – had joined the programme, which is overseen by five-time Le Mans winner and former F1 driver Emanuele Pirro.

Whereas McLaren has been concerned with many younger drivers through the years, together with Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris, the present MDD initiative was formally launched in April.

Together with Bortoleto its roster contains IndyCar racer Pato O’Ward, latest reserve signing and Toyota protégé Ryo Hirakawa, and Italian F4 runner-up Ugo Ugochukwu. 

Bortoleto received the F3 title in his rookie season with Trident, having scored two early season wins.

“We have been following Gabriel for a while,” mentioned Stella when requested by Autosport in regards to the workforce’s newest recruit.

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“We’re constructing this Driver Growth programme, which is definitely fairly new. We began just some months in the past. So we’re populating the programme with probably the most thrilling skills, and positively, we thought that Bortoleto was a kind of.

“The steerage is given by Emanuele Pirro, as you already know, and Emanuele prepares, essentially, the important thing growth points which can be related for us.

Gabriel Bortoleto, Trident celebrates in Parc Ferme

Picture by: Lionel Ng / Motorsport Images

“These guys will compete in junior classes. So our involvement is extra assist, assist to their growth, relatively than a direct involvement.”

Stella harassed that the MDD roster received’t be prolonged too far past its present stage.

“We’re actually very excited that we’ve this new entry in our programme,” he mentioned. “And the programme itself will retain the attribute of being restricted by way of the drivers that might be a part of it, that is one thing that I can affirm.”

Pirro, who gave up his function as an FIA F1 steward to take the McLaren job, can also be assured that Bortoleto is a powerful expertise.

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“I’ve identified him properly for the reason that starting of his motorsport profession and he’s received all that’s wanted on and off observe to be a star,” he mentioned.

“He additionally matches very properly with our workforce tradition at McLaren. I sit up for working with Gabriel and serving to him develop in his motorsport profession.”

In addition to signing Bortoleto McLaren has taken up a one-year possibility on Brando Badoer, who completed sixth on this 12 months’s Italian F4 sequence. He’s the son of former Minardi and Ferrari F1 driver Luca Badoer.

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