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pato o ward

O’Ward will be McLaren reserve F1 driver from mid-September

O'Ward will be McLaren reserve F1 driver from mid-September

Pato O’Ward has signed a multi-year contract extension with Arrow McLaren, the IndyCar team and confirmed the Mexican will be McLaren F1’s reserve driver following the IndyCar season which ends in mid-September.

24-year-old Mexican, O’Ward is entering his fifth full season in IndyCar all with Arrow McLaren where the 24-year-old has established himself as one of the top talents in the series, registering four wins and 20 podium finishes in 64 starts with the team.

Last season, O’Ward finished fourth in the IndyCar series championship claiming seven podiums and earning enough points to qualify for a super license needed to drive in Formula One.

“I couldn’t be more excited to sign this deal with the team,” said O’Ward in a statement. “I have to thank Zak (Brown, McLaren CEO) and Gavin (Ward, Arrow McLaren team principal), the partners and all who were involved in making this happen, especially before the IndyCar season starts so we can focus on racing and winning.

“McLaren has become home for me, and I am proud that I’ll be racing in papaya for a few more years at least,” added O’Ward.

The 2024 IndyCar season opens with a race on the streets of St. Petersburg on March 10 and concludes with the Nashville Grand Prix on 15 September, which means O’Ward will be on F1 reserve duty for the final seven Grand Prix weekends of the record 24-round season. (Reporting by Steve Keating)