Jul.9 (GMM) Zak Brown has thrown cold water on speculation Alex Palou may be a candidate to leap into Formula 1 with a McLaren rival.
With Nyck de Vries struggling so much at Red Bull-owned Alpha Tauri, it has been rumoured dominant Indycar driver Palou might be an ideal successor.
However, while the 26-year-old Spaniard’s move to McLaren’s Indycar team last year was thwarted, Palou is a regular McLaren test and reserve driver.
And McLaren CEO Brown does not sound likely to release him to a F1 rival.
“Alex has been very impressive in Indycar,” he said at Silverstone.
“The competition there is fierce, so for him to win as many races as he has, in the fashion in which he’s done it, is very impressive.”
As for the next steps in Palou’s F1 career, Brown added: “He’s our reserve driver and will be joining us at the end of the year for the remaining Formula 1 races.
“He’s definitely a strong, strong talent.”
Palou, meanwhile, said a few days ago that he is proud to now be on “the list” of drivers connected with Formula 1 race seats.
“An opportunity in Formula 1 doesn’t just depend on going fast,” he told Marca sports newspaper.
“I think we’ve done the work to be on the list and in fact I am already a reserve driver. If an opportunity comes, fine. And if an opportunity doesn’t come, fine too.
“Obviously, by trying we don’t lose anything.”
However, Palou also acknowledged that as he is already 26, he doesn’t have years to sit around waiting for F1.
“Obviously I’m not 19 or 20 years old and I can’t be trying for eight years,” he said. “But hey, nothing would happen if I had to wait a year.”
Palou also played down suggestions that he has rapidly become ‘the Max Verstappen of Indycar’.
“I don’t think so,” he smiled. “I have seen Verstappen’s level myself on the simulator, so I can imagine what he does with a real car.
“He is a world apart. But obviously we are having a very good season and hopefully it will continue like that.”