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Pato O'Ward open to pressing the pause on IndyCar career for F1 opportunity

The Mexican driver, who competes for the Arrow McLaren SP team, has developed into a legitimate front-runner in IndyCar over the past couple of seasons.

Pato O'Ward in a file photo. (Image: Twitter)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Dec 7, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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Pato O’Ward claims he would be ready to put his NTT IndyCar Series career on hold in order to pursue his long-term dream of winning the FIA Formula 1 World Championship. The Mexican driver, who competes for the Arrow McLaren SP team, has developed into a legitimate front-runner in IndyCar over the past couple of seasons. He has also driven Formula 1 cars with the McLaren F1 Team’s sister team in 2022. Along with fellow IndyCar stars Colton Herta and Lex Palou, he tested the MCL35M from 2021 earlier this year. He experienced the MCL36 for the first time during a first free practise outing with McLaren prior to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November.

O’Ward has made it clear in the past that he wants to compete in Formula 1. Despite the fact that his path to a race seat at McLaren appears blocked for the time being—they will compete with two relatively young drivers on long-term contracts in Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri—he still has faith that he can make it onto the grid. And knowing that he would probably be welcomed back to the series once his time in Formula 1 was over, he would be willing to give up his ride in IndyCar to make this happen.

“I feel like I can always come back to IndyCar and the window of getting to Formula 1 is quite a bit narrower,” O’Ward is quoted as saying by MotorsportWeek.com.  “I’m already in IndyCar now and I feel like I’ve established myself as one of the title contenders every single year. I love IndyCar racing, it’s some of the best racing in the world, if not the best in terms of how competitive it is.  But I grew up watching Formula 1 and I grew up with the F1 dream as many other drivers around the world, and that’s what kind of opened my love to so many other categories.”

“So I’m still very keen to make the switch to Formula 1.  Will it happen? When will it happen? I have no idea, but I have a great team behind me. In terms of Formula 1, it’s a crazy world and doors you think will open won’t; things you don’t think will open will; or maybe both; or maybe both don’t! What I’ve learned is you can’t plan anything, you can’t even plan to the year. You can only plan what’s next. What’s next for me is hopefully winning more races and challenging for the championship in IndyCar as well as the Indy 500, and then will the opportunity open up? Of course if it does I’m going to be the first one to take it,” he added.



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