McLaren have confirmed that MP Motorsport’s Alexander Dunne and Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Martinius Stenshorne have joined the Formula 1 team’s Driver Development programme.

The two rookie drivers have made fine starts to their Formula 3 careers with Stenshorne winning the Melbourne Sprint Race while Dunne has already scored two top 10 finishes so far this season.

The pair will now join 2023 FIA F3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto by racing in McLaren colours with the Brazilian having joined the team prior to the start of his current Formula 2 campaign with Invicta Racing.

Speaking about the opportunity, Dunne called joining McLaren an “honour” and believes it is the “perfect” place for him to grow as a driver.

“It’s an honour to join the McLaren Driver Development programme and I’m looking forward to getting started with the team,” said Dunne. “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 affirmed Dunne’s statement as he also pointed to the team’s history of developing some of the best drivers in motorsport.

“I’m incredibly excited to join the McLaren Driver Development programme, it’s an honour to now be part of the McLaren family,” continued Stenshorne. “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.”

McLaren’s Director of Formula 1 Business Operations Stephanie Carlin added: “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.”