O’Ward impressed on his newest look in McLaren’s F1 equipment by ending second in Abu Dhabi’s post-season take a look at, finishing 103 laps within the 2023 MCL60 to place himself just 0.269s behind Alpine’s leading Esteban Ocon.
His outing got here days after being announced as one of McLaren’s 2024 reserve drivers, having already accomplished non-public exams within the 2021 MCL35 in addition to a number of FP1 classes.
O’Ward will concentrate on his 2024 IndyCar marketing campaign earlier than becoming a member of the F1 workforce in his reserve position from September’s Singapore Grand Prix onwards.
His Abu Dhabi take a look at is the most recent step in direction of a dream F1 seat, though the 24-year-old Mexican says his precedence stays to win an Indy 500 for McLaren after narrowly dropping out to Marcus Ericsson in 2022.
When requested if he felt nearer to an F1 seat than ever, O’Ward stated: “Completely, each time you do extra FP1s or extra testing, that is simply extra time within the automotive.
“And which means somebody is in the end believing in you and providing you with that chance to be prepared if these doorways do open.
“I am totally centered on what I’ve to do in IndyCar as a result of I wish to give the five hundred win to McLaren, I wish to be the one that offers it to them as a result of I have been with them for 4 years, beginning my fifth subsequent 12 months.
“After which it might be fairly the Cinderella story to deal with the problem in Components 1 and be a contender, not simply to come back right here and have enjoyable.”
Photograph by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images
Patricio O’Ward, McLaren MCL60
When requested to develop on his 103-lap take a look at, O’Ward stated he was happy with how he continued discovering good points till his remaining soft-tyre runs.
“From the beginning of the day to the top of the day, and even from my second to final smooth run to my final smooth run, the training that I used to be doing nook by nook was large,” he defined.
“I believe I am pretty shut [to the limit]. I believe there’s nonetheless [a bit] to go, however I received to a very nice place right now the place I felt like I used to be on prime of the automotive.
“I did over 100 laps right now and my neck was a champ, I am so proud.
“You don’t have any concept how a lot work I’ve executed on my neck the previous two years. I’ve destroyed it day and day after day to resist what these vehicles are able to.”
O’Ward feels his F1 duties will make him a greater driver no matter his future profession path, as he gears as much as enhance on his fourth place in 2023’s IndyCar standings.
“If you wish to be a champion, it’s essential put your self into these uncomfortable positions in an effort to develop,” he defined.
“It takes a whole lot of work, a whole lot of fantastic element and it could actually get actually irritating typically, however I’ve needed to work actually exhausting to get the place I’ve gotten to, so for me it is a good problem to just accept.
“If it finally ends up taking place, implausible. I do know I am ok to be right here. But when it would not, it is simply going to make me higher in all places else.”