Malukas believes IndyCar’s “very good” hybrid system adds extra strategic tool to the series

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David Malukas says he’s settling in well at his new team, Arrow McLaren, after switching from Dale Coyne Racing.

The American driver has been testing the new hybrid system, being implemented in 2024, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Malukas spoke highly of the team’s special advisor Tony Kanaan: “Coming in, I don’t even know how to use it (the team’s resources) all. But thankfully, they have a good crew. Everybody has been super friendly, introducing everything to me and making me get comfortable.

“Specifically Tony Kanaan. Tony Kanaan has been showing me the ropes and saying like, ‘Hey, this is how you use this resource; this is what I think you should do’, just getting me comfortable on getting used to all these spoiled resources that they keep giving me.”

The 22-year-old is joining Pato O’Ward and compatriot Alexander Rossi at McLaren, who will be looking to return to winning ways after a winless 2023 for the team.

Malukas said his new team has a lot of resources at their disposal and he’s getting accustomed to his new co-workers ahead of the season opener at St. Petersburg in March.

“There’s many new people that I feel like we’ve been doing a pretty good job getting to know everybody, getting connections.

“The way we’ve been doing the structures, it’s been different engineers and performance engineers going to each test. Kind of getting a feel for everybody and making relationships, building chemistry.

“The main thing is just trying to get used to all the new tools and resources that I have at hand. Arrow McLaren gives a lot, and I’m just trying to make sure I can use all of it to help on my side of things. It’s been very good.”

Malukas also delved into the hybrid system and its potential impact on the Indy 500, alongside adding another layer of complexity to the racing.

“I find it very good. I’ve been enjoying it. It has more tools for the driver. I feel like it can kind of separate the drivers from the top to the — the best to the worst on when it comes to hybrids. It’s another tool, time to regen, deploy, set up passes. I think it’s going to have a bit of a play here at the 500.”

Arrow McLaren’s new driver has had to contend with a new team and the hybrid system.

Malukas said despite the tall order, the test was a good experience as the American acclimatises to the number 6 car.

“At the end of the day it’s really good for me. I get to learn new hybrid stuff, get to be a part of the new Arrow McLaren team, get a feeling of the car.

“It’s a bit of a challenge trying to figure out this feels different. Is it because of the hybrid changes or because of the new team?

“Talking with Rossi and the other driver, just kind of trying to figure out, hey, this is actually something that sounds like a setup of ours compared to something this is new.”