Updated: Mar 10, 2022
Mclaren CEO, Zac Brown is known for his bets with his drivers. The newest one being he offered Patricio O’Ward, a chance to run in the end-of-season young driver test for McLaren with the catch being he wins a race in IndyCar this season. The video uploaded on IndyCar team Arrow McLaren’s social media is what got the ball rolling.
Written by Divyank Rane, Edited by Tanishka Vashee
Patricio O’ Ward, Better Known as Pato
Patricio O’Ward, is currently racing for Mclarnen full time in the IndyCar series. The 21 year old Mexican is stoked over the possibility of being able to participate in an F1 test.
In 2018 O’Ward won the Indy Lights Championship and later in 2019 was signed as a Red Bull junior. But due to a decision by the FIA to award fewer Super License points for O’Ward’s Indy Lights Series championship, he was unable to get the required points to be able to race Formula One in 2020.With IndyCar series rides available, Helmut Marko granted O’Ward an early release from his contract after three Super Formula rounds.
A still from the video uploaded on Arrow McLaren’s social media
When both current Mclaren drivers were asked about this, Ricciardo was delighted by this news and said “I’m celebrating! I don’t want to do the end-of-season test so that’s awesome, I’m stoked. Please, take it. After 23 races, the last thing you want to do is a post-season test, so I would love to give someone an opportunity.”
“But I don’t see them as a threat,” added Ricciardo, referring to both O’Ward and Andretti Motorsport’s 21-year-old driver Colton Herta, who took victory in last weekend’s Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg, becoming the youngest ever IndyCar race winner in the process.”
“The level is high, absolutely, there’s no denying that. Are they extremely talented? Absolutely. So if someone wants to have a few laps in Abu Dhabi, you’ve got my blessing!” Daniel concluded.
On the other hand, Norris was also keen to see O’Ward in a F1 car, calling the mexican driver – “a character”.
“Obviously it would be cool to see Pato anyway in a Formula 1 car, and I wish them and the American side [of McLaren] all the best in trying to win some races and so on,” said Norris. “It would be cool to see someone jump from an IndyCar to Formula 1 and see the differences. I’m sure some things are maybe easier and some things are a lot more difficult and very different, so it would be cool.”
“I don’t think we see them as competitors,” Norris added. “Like Daniel says, they’re some of the best guys in the world, some of the best drivers in the world, but I think we’re confident with where we are. I think it will just be more exciting to see Pato in a Formula 1 car, because he’s quite a character, so it would be a good bunch of fun to see.”