“It would be news in Mexico and good publicity” – McLaren boss Zak Brown wants to evaluate Mexican Pato O’Ward in the season-ending Abu Dhabi test before offering him anything concrete in F1.
Pato O’Ward has had a strong season for McLaren in the IndyCar series, finishing third for the season. Two races wins have also earned him a long shot at Formula 1 with CEO Zak Brown confirming he will test with the team during the season-ending test at Abu Dhabi.
“We’ll see after he drives the car in Abu Dhabi. Drivers always have the ambition to drive in Formula 1, but I think we have to wait and see how it goes in Abu Dhabi.
“We have to wait and see the developments in IndyCar, but also in F1 to see if there is an opportunity in the future. This is important. We all focus on our task and don’t think about what might or might not happen.
“The best way to get to F1 is to do what [Jacques] Villeneuve and [Juan Pablo] Montoya did in IndyCar, I told him. Then we will see what happens.”
— Arrow McLaren SP (@ArrowMcLarenSP) September 26, 2021
Pato O’Ward will not run Mclaren in Mexican GP practice
Despite the marketing lure of O’Ward participating in the practice session of his home Mexican GP, Brown has categorically confirmed it is going to be the duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris who will continue to take all practice sessions this season, with them locked in a fierce battle for P3 with arch-rivals Ferrari.
“We would never do that. We wouldn’t be able to use a driver in free practice because firstly he starts the weekend with no goal.
“It would be news in Mexico and good publicity, but we always want to perform optimally and using another driver would have an effect.
“We are in the middle of a big battle with Ferrari for third place among the constructors. We are not going to do anything that could stand in the way of that fight, that much is certain.”