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Thursday, December 7, 2023

IndyCar’s O’Ward to get Abu Dhabi F1 outings for McLaren

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In keeping with F1’s sporting rules, McLaren nonetheless needed to fulfil its dedication to run a second rookie in an FP1 session later this yr.

It had ticked off the primary one with Oscar Piastri being nominated for his F1 debut weekend in Bahrain, and had been anticipated to present its second slot to Alex Palou – who had been anticipated to grow to be one among its reserves from this weekend’s race in Singapore.

Nonetheless, with Palou having gone again on plans to joins McLaren in IndyCar, the Woking-based squad has needed to re-evaluate issues.

Talking on the Singapore Grand Prix, McLaren mentioned {that a} choice had now been made to run Arrow McLaren IndyCar driver O’Ward in each Abu Dhabi free follow in addition to the post-race tyre check that takes place the week after the F1 season finale.

The Abu Dhabi run would be the Mexican’s first look at an F1 weekend since he had his debut free follow run ultimately yr’s Abu Dhabi occasion.

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Pato O’Ward, McLaren IndyCar Driver

Picture by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Talking on the Singapore Grand Prix, McLaren group principal Andrea Stella defined that it believed O’Ward was now eligible for an F1 superlicence after ending fourth on this yr’s IndyCar championship – so hopefully might be a part of its roster of reserves.

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Moreover, he mentioned that it was now settled on his check plans for the top of the yr.

“We are literally checking with the FIA, and we expect he is eligible now for the superlicence,” defined Stella.

“So he is certified to drive an F1 automotive and be able to be one of many reserve drivers.

“When it comes to the 2 fundamental [free practice] occasions that will have concerned both Alex or Pato, we needed to do yet another session of free follow one, the place we’ve got to have a so-called younger driver, so a driver that hasn’t participated in additional than two races. After which we’ve got the post-Abu Dhabi check.

“Initially, these sort of occasions would have been cut up between the 2, however clearly now on this state of affairs, we could have Pato on the wheel in FP1 in Abu Dhabi after which I can affirm that he can even be driving the Tuesday after the race in Abu Dhabi.”

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