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McLaren confirm new F1 driver for 2024 season

McLaren confirm new F1 driver for 2024 season

F1 News

McLaren confirm new F1 driver for 2024 season

McLaren confirm new F1 driver for 2024 season

McLaren have unveiled Arrow McLaren IndyCar Team driver Pato O’Ward as a reserve driver for the 2024 season.

The 24-year-old from Monterrey, Mexico, has impressed in the IndyCar series since joining Arrow McLaren in 2020 and has previously tested with the team in the 2021 young drivers’ test and in 2022 at Abu Dhabi in FP1.

O’Ward will again run in FP1 for McLaren in Abu Dhabi this weekend and in the post-session test as part of his progression in the McLaren Driver Development programme.

READ MORE: F1 team boss reveals 'crazy' claim over signing Verstappen

In a statement on the official McLaren website, O’Ward said: “Pumped to take on this new role within the McLaren Racing family.

Pato O'Ward will join McLaren's pool of reserve drivers for 2024
The Mexican will take part in FP1 at Abu Dhabi this weekend

“I’ve spent a lot of time with the F1 team having driven previously in free practice and taken part in a few tests. I’ve always said it's never a bad day when you get to jump into an F1 car, so I look forward to joining the reserve driver pool for next year alongside my driving duties with Arrow McLaren.

“Thank you to Andrea and Zak for this great opportunity.”

Another step closer to F1 for O’Ward

Racing since the age of six, O’Ward has put in some exceptional performances in the IndyCar series with the McLaren family, finishing fourth in the standings in his debut season in 2020.

He would go one better in 2021 coming in third and he finished in seventh in 2022, when he was given his first F1 test at the end of the season. He finished fourth in the IndyCar series this season.

McLaren F1 team boss Andrea Stella added: “The McLaren Formula 1 Team are pleased to welcome Pato O’Ward to our pool of reserve drivers for the 2024 season.

Andrea Stella has been impressed with O'Ward progress in IndyCar

“Pato had an impressive season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and has performed well in his Driver Development tests, so it felt natural to take this next step now he’s eligible for an FIA Super License. With the expansive calendar, it’s prudent to ensure we have a wide pool of drivers that we can call upon if required. We look forward to seeing him progress in this new role.”

O’Ward will be one of ten rookies taking to the track in FP1 in Abu Dhabi as the teams must field a rookie in two practice sessions during the campaign.

READ MORE: F1 veteran to retire and take up new role in 2024

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