McLaren to gauge O'Ward's F1 future after Abu Dhabi test


McLaren racing boss Zak Brown will assess whether Pato O'Ward has a potential future in F1 after the IndyCar charger's test with the F1 team in Abu Dhabi after the end of the season.

Earlier this year, Brown vowed to give O'Ward a test onboard McLaren's current MCL35M car at Yas Marina if the Mexican won a race in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series for the Arrows McLaren SP squad.

The 22-year-old did just that at the start of May when he triumphed in the XPEL 375 event at Texas Motor Speedway. But O'Ward followed up with a second win in Detroit which put him in contention for this year's IndyCar title.

Unfortunately, the young talent's title chances were squandered early on in last weekend's finale at Long Beach where Chip Ganassi Racing's Alex Palou was crowned the 2021 IndyCar champion, just ahead of O'Ward.


The Mexican is on course to enjoy a promising career in the US, but F1 could come calling in the future.

"We’ll see after he drives the car in Abu Dhabi," Brown said, quoted by's Dutch edition.

"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."

Brwon made clear that a stellar performance by O'Ward in this year's post-season test at Yas Marina would not necessarily imply a switch to F1 at some point in the future.

"We have to wait and see the developments in IndyCar, but also in F1 to see if there is an opportunity in the future," said the McLaren boss.

"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."

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