IndyCar’s O’Ward joins McLaren’s stable of reserve drivers

ReutersNovember 23, 2023, 11:10 AM ET3 minutes of reading

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Indycars Pato O’Ward will join McLaren’s stable of reserve drivers next season, the Formula One team said on Thursday.

O’Ward, who drives for the Arrow McLaren IndyCar team, is in Abu Dhabi and will take part in practice from Friday ahead of Sunday’s season-ending grand prix.

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The 24-year-old driver has four wins and 20 podiums in IndyCar and has tested with McLaren, including in Abu Dhabi last year.

„I’m excited to take on this new role in the McLaren Racing family,” O’Ward said said in a statement.

Pado O’Ward drives for Arrow McLaren IndyCar.Kim Illman/Getty Images

„I’ve always said it’s never a bad day to jump into an F1 car, so I’m looking forward to joining the reserve driver pool for next year alongside my driving duties with Arrow McLaren.”

O’Ward has been a promising talent on the F1 radar since his stint with the Red Bull Junior team.

He joins a reserve team that includes Japan’s 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Ryo Hirakawa and Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher.

„Pato has had an impressive season in the IndyCar Series and performed well in his driver development tests and is therefore eligible for the FIA ​​Super Licence.

„With an extensive calendar, it’s prudent to ensure we have a wide range of drivers we can call on if needed.”

With the team featuring two of the sport’s best young drivers in Lando Norris and Oscar Piastre, there are unlikely to be any open seats at McLaren for the foreseeable future.

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