Patricio O’Ward is one of the top stars of the US IndyCar series, in which he was one of the contenders for the title in 2021 and secured third place. The McLaren SP driver got the chance in Abu Dhabi to test a Formula 1 racing car and get to know the world of the premier class. The Mexican is overwhelmed by how many big names are in the paddock.
“It’s full of important people, I can tell you that,” said O’Ward after his Formula 1 test. “Everyone there has an incredible résumé. What you can see in Formula 1 is how much money people are willing to spend just to be able to say they were there. The biggest of the big guys want Formula 1 and that cannot claim any other series. ”
O’Ward knows the IndyCar circus like the back of his hand and has already met many celebrities and important people who pull the cord there, but unlike in Formula 1, such a high attendance is rather the exception. “Formula 1 is the series you want to be in – as a driver, reporter, engineer, team owner and entrepreneur,” says O’Ward.
Important people everywhere
The 22-year-old was not only blown away by the environment in the paddock, but also by the McLaren car that he was allowed to test at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. “I don’t understand the people who get into a Formula 1 car and are not enthusiastic about it – then something is wrong with you! I enjoyed it and it was unbelievably great! I drove the fastest racing car in the world.”
Patricio O’Ward is toying with Formula 1, but has to hurry
Photo: Motorsport Images
O’Ward calls it the “best experience” he has ever had in a racing car as he was “overwhelmed” by the performance and balance of the cars. “I want more,” said the young racing driver from Mexico.
“I want to dominate it. I want to go to the limit and feel what it’s like when I push the limits.” About the comparison between IndyCar and Formula 1, he says: “It’s something completely different because an IndyCar car has a lot more limits.”
O’Ward is toying with Formula 1
O’Ward “earned” the test with McLaren, but he was still “grateful” for this unique opportunity, explains the youngster. “I achieved more than expected many times,” said the third-placed winner of the IndyCar season in 2021.
O’Ward will compete in the US formula series again in 2022 and fight for the title. Nevertheless, he dreams of Formula 1 and hopes to make the leap within two years.
With images from McLaren (Twitter).