IndyCar Star Pato O’Ward Returns to F1 with McLaren in Abu Dhabi

Pato O'Ward to Drive in Abu Dhabi FP1 and Post-Season Test Replacing Lando Norris Image
Source: PlanetF1

IndyCar Star Pato O’Ward Returns to F1 with McLaren in Abu Dhabi. In a striking comeback to Formula 1, IndyCar sensation Pato O’Ward is set to reignite the track with McLaren.

O’Ward is making his entrance with McLaren at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix replacing Lando Norris

This unexpected move, guided by O’Ward’s impressive journey, has ignited anticipation for his appearance in the F1 season’s grand finale and post-season testing, marking a thrilling chapter in McLaren’s racing endeavors.

IndyCar Star Pato O’Ward Returns to F1 with McLaren in Abu Dhabi

The IndyCar standout Pato O’Ward is poised to make a return to the world of F1 with McLaren, and his destination is none other than the iconic Abu Dhabi GP. 

O’Ward’s resurgence in F1 comes on the heels of his stellar performances in IndyCar, propelling him back into the high-speed world of open-wheel racing. 

McLaren’s Announcement

The orange team, McLaren has made a resounding announcement, confirming the return of IndyCar sensation Pato O’Ward to Formula 1. 

The team’s decision was fueled by O’Ward’s remarkable achievements in IndyCar, positioning him to take the wheel once again, this time at the prestigious 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and in subsequent post-season testing

The racing world eagerly awaits O’Ward’s resurgence in the Formula 1 realm who is set to replace Lando Norris.

Who is Pato O’Ward?

Patricio “Pato” O’Ward, a talented Mexican racer, was born in Monterrey in 1999

He embarked on his racing journey at just 6 years old through karting

Today, at 24, he’s a rising star in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, driving for Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. 

As the only Mexican driver in the series, Pato has a passionate following both on and off the track. 

His versatile skills led him to make his competitive F1 debut with McLaren, showcasing his potential in the world of motorsport.

The IndyCar sensation, Pato O’Ward has no girlfriend as per sources.

O’Ward’s Performance in IndyCar

Pato O’Ward’s journey to Formula 1 was paved by his standout performances in the IndyCar series, where he showcased his exceptional racing prowess. 

His stellar campaign in the IndyCar championship, finishing 4th with the Arrow McLaren team, played a pivotal role in McLaren’s decision to consider him for an F1 super license. 

O’Ward’s consistent excellence in IndyCar has truly set the stage for his return to the Formula 1 circuit.

Eligibility for an F1 Super License

The pivotal point in Pato O’Ward’s journey back to Formula 1 hinges on his eligibility for an F1 super license. 

McLaren’s conviction in O’Ward’s capabilities has prompted them to explore this avenue. 

Meeting the criteria for an F1 super license signifies his readiness to pilot a Formula 1 car and potentially join the ranks of McLaren’s reserve drivers, a defining moment in his racing career.

McLaren’s Obligation to Run Rookie Drivers

Like all Formula 1 teams, McLaren must adhere to the FIA’s mandate to provide opportunities for rookie drivers during the season. 

“McLaren, like all Formula 1 teams, must adhere to the FIA’s mandate to provide opportunities for rookie drivers during the season,” stated McLaren team principal Andrea Stella. 

“This obligation was partly fulfilled when Oscar Piastri made his debut in Bahrain,” he further explained. 

“Now, with Pato O’Ward’s return to McLaren, the team is poised to meet the second part of this requirement,” Stella emphasized. 

“The decision to run rookie drivers adds an exciting dimension to the team’s racing strategy,” he concluded.

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Return for Post-Season Testing

Pato O’Ward’s return to McLaren isn’t limited to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix; he is also slated to participate in the crucial post-season testing at the Yas Marina circuit in November

Originally intended to share these testing opportunities with Alex Palou, circumstances have led O’Ward to take the wheel in both sessions. 

This move aligns with McLaren’s commitment to integrating young drivers into their Formula 1 program, promising an intriguing showcase of talent beyond the regular season.


In conclusion, Pato O’Ward’s remarkable journey from IndyCar to Formula 1 has captured the racing world’s attention. 

McLaren’s strategic decision to bring back this IndyCar sensation for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and post-season testing reflects their trust in his racing prowess.

O’Ward’s impressive performances in IndyCar, along with his potential eligibility for an F1 superlicense, have solidified his position as a rising star in the motorsport arena. 

Moreover, McLaren’s adherence to the FIA’s rule regarding rookie drivers adds an element of excitement to their racing endeavors, promising a thrilling spectacle on the track. 

As O’Ward gears up to make his mark, the racing community eagerly awaits his return to the pinnacle of motorsport.

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