McLaren announce another new driver

Japan’s Ryo Hirakawa named McLaren F1 reserve driver – On the eve of the Japanese Grand Prix, the McLaren team announced the appointment of Japanese driver Ryo Hirakawa as reserve driver in Formula 1 for the 2024 season as part of its driver development programme.

The Japanese driver has an impressive track record in Super Formula and Super GT, and won the World Endurance Championship for Hypercar drivers for Toyota Gazoo Racing in 2022.

He currently leads the 2023 Hypercar Drivers’ World Endurance Championship, most recently winning the 6 Hours of Portimão.


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Simulator work for Hirakawa

Hirakawa will support the McLaren Formula 1 team from 2024 in areas such as development in the simulator at the McLaren Technology Center as well as track time as part of the MCL35M test programme.

Ryo Hirakawa will continue to represent Toyota Gazoo Racing in the World Endurance Championship alongside his duties at McLaren next year.

“I am delighted to be joining McLaren as a reserve driver,” said Hirakawa of his appointment.

“It is an exciting prospect to work with such a respected team and I am grateful to Zak [Brown, McLaren CEO] and Andrea [Stella, team boss] for this opportunity.”

“I’ve already met the team and experienced the simulator at MTC, which allowed me to get up to speed quickly. I am now fully prepared and focused for the rest of 2023.”



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“I would also like to take this opportunity to express two points of appreciation. The first goes to Toyota Gazoo Racing. I am grateful to them for allowing me to serve as a driver for both teams.”

“The second thanks goes to Morizo-san (Akio Toyoda), who supported me as a driver. As a driver himself, his advice was that I should drive any car that gives me the chance to develop.”

“So I want to make the most of this opportunity and repay him by showing him how much I’ve grown.”


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Liam Lawson would not be happy to return to F1 as a reserve driver in 2024 but he might need to wait his turn as rumours suggest Red Bull are keen to see Daniel Ricciardo back in a Formula 1 race seat as soon as possible, despite replacement rookie Liam Lawson impressing with his stand in races covering the injured Australian.

Having experienced the joys of being a Formula 1 driver, New Zealander Liam Lawson admits that he would find it very difficult…… READ MORE ON THIS STORY


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