Patricio O’Ward leaves Harding Steinbrenner Racing to seek ‘new opportunity’

Patricio O’Ward has announced he has left Harding Steinbrenner Racing, and is looking for a new drive for 2019. The 2018 Indy Lights champion suggested that the decision is his own, although there has as yet been no word from the team.

“The Harding Steinbrenner Racing team supported my decision to seek a new opportunity by releasing me from my contract and allowing me the opportunity to find a new team before the start of the 2019 season,” said O’Ward in a short press release.

“Now, I am fully focused on finding the right opportunity and how I will use my scholarship from Indy Lights for 2019."

O’Ward’s stock has risen considerably since his end of season IndyCar debut at Sonoma last year, where he raised eyebrows by qualifying fifth on his debut outing in an IndyCar. Having followed this up with a strong showing against world-class opponents at the Race of Champions in January, expectations were high for the rookie before his first full season of IndyCar racing.

The next move of the 19-year-old Mexican will be watched keenly. With many IndyCar seats already taken for the coming season, it remains to be seen whether his undoubted talent, alongside his Indy Lights Scholarship prize fund, will cause some late changes around the IndyCar grid.