McLaren IndyCar driver Pato O'Ward believes he has a maximum of two years to get into Formula 1, and the Mexican is determined "to make it happen".
O'Ward enjoyed his maiden F1 test this week in Abu Dhabi, courtesy of McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown who had promised the 22-year-old a run if he won a round of this year's NTT IndyCar Series with Arrow McLaren SP, a feat he duly achieved back in May in Texas.
But O'Ward was so impressed with his test on Tuesday at Yas Marina and enthralled with his first experience of driving an F1 car that he is now considering the possibility of switching from IndyCar to Grand Prix racing in the future.
However, the two-time IndyCar winner is realistic about the window of opportunity he faces to join the pinnacle of motorsport. But he's determined to give it his best shot.
"To be fairly honest, arguably there’s maximum two more years for me to be able to come into the F1 scene," O’Ward told Motorsport.com in Abu Dhabi. "There’s not much more time.
"I will do everything I can to make it happen, because it is the top of the top, and my dream and my life, right now, it all started with one dream, and that dream was to make it to Formula 1.
"That dream ambled out to different series, endurance racing and IndyCar racing. But it all started with that one dream. And I’d be lying if I said I don’t want it, because I do.
"I’m going to do absolutely everything I can, and I’m going to push to my absolute maximum to make sure that I leave nothing on the table.
"Because you’ve got to take it. You’ve got to try, because if I don’t, I will regret it for the rest of my life."
O'Ward's first port of call for racing in F1 would logically be McLaren.
However, with Daniel Ricciardo and especially Lando Norris both firmly entrenched at the Woking-based outfit, a future with the papaya squad seems uncertain.
But a couple of scintillating seasons in IndyCar would go along way towards boosting O'Ward's F1 chances, as Brown himself has suggested.
"I’ll go back to Indy, start preparing, start the season, and it’s time to win some races," O’Ward said.
"Time to challenge for another championship, and let’s see if we’ve made our car faster.
"We want to challenge for another title, and we want to have another go at trying to win the 500."