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O'Ward reveals "oh my God" scare on McLaren F1 debut

O'Ward reveals "oh my God" scare on McLaren F1 debut

F1 News

O'Ward reveals "oh my God" scare on McLaren F1 debut

O'Ward reveals "oh my God" scare on McLaren F1 debut
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar driver Pato O'Ward conceded an "oh my God" moment left him with an unrepresentative lap time for his Abu Dhabi Grand Prix FP1 run.

The Mexican took over from Lando Norris to fulfil the second of McLaren's rookie practice runs, following Alex Palou's impressive turnout at the United States Grand Prix.

"Our programme was a programme to ultimately help the team and that is the most important thing," said O'Ward, who prepared for his running by taking part in various TPCs and last year's Abu Dhabi post-season test.

"I wanted my runs and my integration into the team to help Daniel and Lando as much as I can and help the team secure a good weekend.

"I tested quite a few things for them and I think now we have a good idea of where to get guided at least, on Lando's side, what more do we need or how much more can we go in a certain area.

"I think we found the limits in the simple things like ride height and things like that which are crucial to a qualifying lap when you really want to attack."

O'Ward searches for "car bite" feeling

O'Ward has been consistent with his awe of F1 machinery since experiencing the cars for the first time.

Setting a best lap time of one minute, 28.350secs to end the session eight-tenths slower than Ricciardo in the lead MCL36.

"In terms of my run plan, like I said testing that and getting a feel for the medium tyres, the soft tyres," explained O'Ward.

"To be honest, the worst thing you can do is go out and put it in the wall and that was something I did not want to do.

"You need to complete your runs and what was most important to me was to get a feeling of what this car was like a little bit more, how it feels going into corners, how can you attack, when does the car bite.

"I think when I put my soft tyres, I got to a decent place of being fairly happy with the car.

"I don't know if they had it on the broadcast but I had a massive 'oh my God' moment going into nine and that was our quick lap.

"So I think we had a solid six-tenths at least more with a normal turn nine.

"So I am very happy with my pace to be fairly honest with you. I think the team was happy with all the data we gathered and that is what it is all about, it is to help all of us and enjoy it and I did, I did enjoy it very much."

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