McLaren decided to fulfil their young driver session requirement in Austin, putting Indycar champion Alex Palou in the car for one of Friday’s practice sessions.
The Spaniard was left amazed by the McLaren, claiming the step up between Indycar and Formula 1 is immeasurable.
“I’d like to say it’s similar to Indycar because I want to put what I do at as high a level as possible, but I think they are very far apart in performance,” he told the media.
“We know that. Our chassis is ten years old and the annual budget is the equivalent of a single Grand Prix.
“But it’s very, very different – not half the acceleration of F1, not half the grip, not two percent of the technology that F1 has.”
Despite his high praise of the sport, the 25-year-old is not tempted by entering F1 as a reserve driver, choosing to remain a winner in Indycar than sit on the side lines every weekend.
“I like to win, in Indycar I can win and I can’t complain about that,” he explained.
“I’ll never really quit my job for a chance to be here every weekend and be a reserve. One hundred percent not.
“But it would be hard to say no to a [race] seat.”
It has already been announced that Palou will be racing in Indycar again next season, with a contract dispute between McLaren and Chip Ganassi concluding in the Spaniard staying at the Indycar team.
Regardless of this, Palou has said that it still remains a no brainer to take any opportunities that F1 throws his way, even if he no longer dreams of joining the grid.
“It’s not as though F1 has come back to my mind now,” he explained.
“But if you get the opportunity to be a part of an F1 team even if it’s just for practice, you gave to take it for everything you can learn.”
Having made his official F1 debut at the Circuit of the Americas, it remains to be seem whether Palou will ever make the jump from Indycar, but as of now it looks unlikely that he will ditch challenging for Indycar championships for a role in F1.