NASCAR’s Kyle Larson wants to ‘wager’ Zak Brown for an F1 test

Sam Cooper
Kyle Larson smiling. Los Angeles, December 2022.

Kyle Larson smiling. Los Angeles, December 2022.

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson says he wants to propose a “wager” to McLaren boss Zak Brown in order to get him a test in the Formula 1 car.

The McLaren CEO has been known to hand out drives to those within the papaya family with Pato O’Ward, Alex Palou and Colton Herta all driving the 2021 car at various points last season. Even Mario Andretti was seen in the car during a runout before the United States Grand Prix.

But now it seems he will have another driver knocking on his door with NASCAR’s Larson saying he would be up for a “wager.”

The 30-year-old was recently announced as a McLaren driver for the 2023 Indy 500 and seemingly wants to get a similar offer to those who have driven for the team before.

“No, not yet,” he told the Race’s IndyCar podcast when asked if he talked to Brown about F1. “As of right now, I’m just hoping to get passes to the Vegas f1 race! That’s kind of all I care about.

“I would love to [test an F1 car] I just haven’t mentioned anything to him yet. But yeah, maybe that’s something I have to wager, I guess, to him but that would be so cool if I could get the chance to just test an F1 car.

Larson’s ambitions did not stop there though and he admitted he would love to race in F1 someday as well.

“But honestly if I could race in Formula 1 someday that would be unbelievable. It’s probably not realistic but heck, who knows? I mean I would love to and that would be a cool opportunity.”

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The arrival of 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Larson for the Indy 500 is another example of McLaren stepping up their IndyCar efforts with Brown admitting that the North America market was right at the top of their list.

“North America is the answer,” Brown said. “When we look at what gets our fans excited, where we sell our beautiful road cars and what our corporate partners want, as far as market penetration, North America comes right to the top of the list.

“When we got started on the journey not long ago, Formula 1 wasn’t very popular in North America. It’s amazing what’s happened in a short period of time.

“A lot thanks to Drive to Survive, the Netflix show, but we felt we wanted to have a larger presence in North America than all the other Formula 1 teams. We’re the only team in IndyCar and it’s really to serve the needs of our fans, our employees and our partners in a very important market.”