WATCH: McLaren IndyCar Sensation Pato O’Ward’s Reaction After Driving an F1 Car Says it All

Published 12/14/2021, 6:34 AM EST
Formula One F1- Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – December 4, 2021 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


Mclaren Indy car driver Pato O’ Ward is all set to jump in an F1 car cockpit for the first time. The 2018 Indy Lights champion is a part of Mclaren’s post-season testing currently underway in Abu Dhabi. However, the Mexican will be driving the current car while Norris and Ricciardo will test a mule car with 18-inch tyres.

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Pirelli boss Mario Isola confirmed that all the 10 teams are looking to test the mule cars with 18-inch tyres which are developed for the 2021 F1 season. The 3-day testing will be concluded in the Yas Marina Circuit after the final race.

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Pato O’ Ward is thrilled to drive Mclaren MCL35M

The two-time race winner in the Arrow Mclaren SP team will take part in the young driver test this Tuesday. The 22-year old was promised by Mclaren CEO Zak Brown his chance in an F1 car soon. However, now that O’ Ward is closely working with the Surrey team, he is amazed by the intensity at which this sport operates.

In a recent tweet by Mclaren, O’ Ward could be heard sharing his thoughts after he got a taste of an F1 car. “Oh my god! The grip, man, is crazy. By the end of the day, my head is going to be falling off for sure. I’m frigging’ in love with this thing.”

O’ Ward will explore his chances in F1

In a recent interview with Chris Medland, he discussed his chances in F1. The Mexican compared F1 with the Indycar series, pointing out the huge difference in intensity at which the two sports operate. “I’m so focused on just taking it all in and seeing if it’s something that I can mesh with in the future,” said O’ Ward as reported by Racer.

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“And it is, I mean, man, there are 750 people working here for two cars. Like, you don’t see that anywhere else. And even IndyCar, that’s such a competitive series and when you see the difference of how each team operates is huge, like huge differences and just two very different types of competing,” said the Mexican about the two sports.

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However, the first exposure to an F1 car must have been an unforgettable moment for the young driver. Moreover, he is not the only Indycar driver in post-season testing. Brazilian racer Pietro Fittipaldi is also part of post-season testing with the Haas F1 team. However, he will only be a part of the US-based team till Nikita Mazepin recovers from his illness.

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Rituraj Tripathi

254 articles

Rituraj Tripathi is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. A true lover of speed, he is big fan of Lewis Hamilton and finds a future world champion in Lando Norris. Rituraj eagerly looks forward to the paddock moving to the Circuit de Monaco, and he finds Portier corner as the most exciting part of the track.

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