O’Ward holds third place in the standings and has come close to a maiden victory on a number of occasions, narrowly missing out to Felix Rosenqvist at Road America, prior to scoring a double podium at Gateway.
“Pato is doing a great job,” said Wickens. “Week in, week out he is showing he is more experienced than what his age tells us. This is only his second short oval in an Indy car.
“He hit the ground running from that first 30-minute refresher session on Friday. I was surprised the time he set in that refresher stood up for P1 for quite a while Friday.
“He is doing a great job. His feeling for the car is getting better. He is gaining more confidence every day he is in the car, which is amazing how quick he was out of the box for us.”
“It’s nice to have someone to tell you kind of what little things caught him off-guard so we’re better prepared. It’s been a really enjoyable time as a person, as someone that knows what it feels like to be in our shoes.”
“He’s very honest, which I really like. He honestly is very technical. He finds a lot of little details that me or Oliver might miss sometimes.
“It’s good to have him in our head, just keep improving the little things that ultimately make a race a win or a lose situation.”
Despite not getting even one full season of IndyCar under his belt before his life-changing crash, Wickens’ vast experience in single-seaters has been beneficial in being a superb intermediary between the current drivers and the engineering team.
“The biggest thing for me is I thought one of my best attributes as a driver was my ability to get the most out of engineering,” said Wickens. “Even though I’m not driving the car, I feel like I’m a great bridge between the driver and the engineer.
“When the driver says something, I can ask a very particular question to give clarity on the situation. I think we are doing a good job there. From a driving standpoint, these cars are driving so differently with the Aeroscreen this year I think the car wants to be driven a little different. We are learning as we go.”
On the other side of the team, Askew has had a more testing season with incidents at the Indy Grand Prix, Road America and the Indianapolis 500, but the Floridian still has a podium to his name from the first race in Iowa.
“It’s teething and you expect that with young drivers,” added Wickens.
“A lot of drivers make their mistakes in junior categories, and by the time they get to the top, they are iron pros. But both of our drivers are so young they make their mistakes in the spotlight. “There is more pressure, but he is doing a good job.
“He is quick. We just need to find a bit of rhythm.”