The McLaren Formula 1 Team has announced that Pato O’Ward will join the team’s pool of reserve drivers for the 2024 season.
The Mexican will perform reserve duties alongside his full-time role driving for Arrow McLaren in it’s IndyCar programme.
O’Ward, who joined the McLaren’s Indycar project in 2020, has already earned himself several outings in the 2021 MCL35M including a run in the 2021 young driver’s test at Abu Dhabi.
In 2022, O’Ward made his free practice debut with the team, again at the Yas Marina Circuit. He will fulfil the same duties this weekend in place of Lando Norris during FP1 before a further outing in the MCL60 at the post-season test as part of his progression within the outfit’s driver development programme.
Finishing fourth in this year’s IndyCar championship, the 24-year-old now finds himself eligible for a Super Licence.
“The McLaren Formula 1 team are pleased to welcome Pato O’Ward to our pool of reserve drivers for the 2024 season,” said Team Principal Andrea Stella.
“Pato had an impressive season in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and has performed well in his Driver Development tests, so it felt natural to take this next step now he’s eligible for an FIA Super License.
“With the expansive calendar, it’s prudent to ensure we have a wide pool of drivers that we can call upon if required. We look forward to seeing him progress in this new role.”
O’Ward added: “Pumped to take on this new role within the McLaren Racing family. I’ve spent a lot of time with the F1 team having driven previously in free practice and taken part in a few tests.
“I’ve always said it’s never a bad day when you get to jump into an F1 car, so I look forward to joining the reserve driver pool for next year alongside my driving duties with Arrow McLaren. Thank you to Andrea and Zak for this great opportunity.”
Just last week, O’Ward piloted Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 championship-winning McLaren MP4-23 at California’s Sonoma Raceway during the Velocity Invitional vintage event.