McLaren announce FIA Formula 3 Champion Gabriel Bortoleto as the latest driver to join the Driver Development programme

McLaren announce FIA Formula 3 Champion Gabriel Bortoleto as the latest driver to join the Driver Development programme

McLaren Racing today announced that Gabriel Bortoleto, the 2023 FIA Formula 3 Champion, has joined the McLaren Driver Development programme. Gabriel will work under the mentorship of former McLaren test driver, Formula 1 driver and Le Mans winner, Emanuele Pirro, who leads the programme.

Gabriel made his single seater debut in 2020 in the Italian F4 Championship where he won in the Monza and Mugello rounds. He then moved on to the Formula Regional Championship by Alpine in 2021 and 2022, before gaining a seat in Formula 3 with Trident.

The McLaren Driver Development programme was formed in April, with the aim to support young drivers in their development from karting to professional racing driver with the aim of facilitating the progression of emerging talent into F1.

The 18-year-old from Brazil joins Arrow McLaren IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward, McLaren Formula 1 Team 2024 Reserve Driver Ryo Hirakawa and McLaren Young Driver, Ugo Ugochukwu.

In addition, McLaren Racing has signed a one-year option on Italian Formula 4 driver Brando Badoer. Brando will be assessed by the team over the next year as an Optioned Driver, with the potential to sign to the programme full time at the end of his evaluation.

Emanuele Pirro, Director, McLaren Driver Development programme, said:

“I’m pleased to welcome Gabriel to the McLaren Driver Development programme. I’ve known him well since the beginning of his motorsport career and he’s got all that is needed on and off track to be a star. He also fits very well with our team culture at McLaren. I look forward to working with Gabriel and helping him develop in his motorsport career.

“I also look forward to working with Brando Badoer, who we sign as an Optioned Driver, as we continue to evaluate him over the next year.

“They join our talented line-up of drivers who we will be working with on their individual development, to give them the tools they need to progress in their careers.”

Gabriel Bortoleto, said:

“I’m excited to be joining the McLaren Driver Development programme. I’m grateful to McLaren and Emanuele for giving me this opportunity.

“I’ve already been in the MTC for a tour and to meet the team, which was a really nice experience. I’m looking forward to continuing working on my development alongside a great team.”

About McLaren Racing

McLaren Racing was founded by racing driver Bruce McLaren 60 years ago in 1963. The team entered its first Formula 1 race in 1966. McLaren has since won 20 Formula 1 world championships, 183 Formula 1 grands prix, the Indianapolis 500 three times, and the Le Mans 24 Hours at its first attempt.

McLaren Racing competes across five racing series. The team competes in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship with McLaren F1 drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, the NTT INDYCAR SERIES with Arrow McLaren drivers Pato O’Ward, Alexander Rossi and David Malukas, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship with NEOM McLaren Formula E Team drivers Jake Hughes and Sam Bird, and the Extreme E Championship with NEOM McLaren Extreme E Team drivers Emma Gilmour and Tanner Foust. The team also competes in the F1 Esports Pro Championship as McLaren Shadow, having won the 2022 Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships.

McLaren is a champion for sustainability in the sport and a signatory to the UN Sports for Climate Action Commitment. It is committed to achieving net zero by 2040 and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture in the motorsport industry.