McLaren add two junior drivers to their driver development programme

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Ahead of this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, McLaren have announced that FIA Formula 3 drivers Alex Dunne and Martinius Stenshorne have joined their driver development programme.

Dunne secured the 2022 British F4 Championship title with Hitech Grand Prix, and that season also saw the 18-year-old from Offaly, Ireland finish as vice-champion in both the 2022 Italian F4 Championship. He went on to become vice-champion in the GB3 Championship last year. He was also handed the opportunity of driving with Hitech Pulse-Eight in the Macau Grand Prix in 2023, where he qualified sixth on his street circuit debut before finishing second in the qualifying race.

Born into a rallying family, he started racing aged four, Stenshorne secured multiple international karting championships before moving to Formula 4, where he scored three podiums across the UAE, German and Italian Championships. In 2023, the 18-year-old Norwegian driver competed in the Formula Regional European Championship, where he became the first rookie to win their debut race while finishing as vice-champion of the series with four further wins to his name.

McLaren's two new young drivers currently compete in the FIA Formula 3 Championship, Dunne with MP Motorsport and Stenshorne with Hitech Pulse-Eight. The pair have started their respective seasons strongly with Stenshorne securing a Sprint Race win in Australia and Dunne scoring his first points in his second race at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Commenting on the announcement, McLaren's Director of F1 Business Operations, Stephanie Carlin said: "We’re pleased to announce that Alex and Martinius have joined our Driver Development programme. They are both exciting and promising young talents within motorsport, with proven records on track in their respective junior categories including this season’s FIA Formula 3 Championship.

"The entire team is looking forward to welcoming Alex and Martinius to the McLaren family and we’ll be working closely to support their development within our talent pipeline."

Expanding on the new station of his career, Dunne added: "It’s an honour to join the McLaren Driver Development programme and I’m looking forward to getting started with the team. McLaren provides the perfect environment for me to develop my skillset as I continue my journey in motorsport. I’m grateful for Zak and Stephanie’s support and I’m excited to meet the rest of the team at MTC."

Stenshorne commented: "I’m incredibly excited to join the McLaren Driver Development programme, it’s an honour to now be part of the McLaren family. The team has a great history of developing talent, so I’m looking forward to growing with the team and learning from their expertise as I continue on my journey towards the top of motorsport. Thank you to Zak, Stephanie and the entire team for their faith in me, I can’t wait to get started."