Patricio O'Ward is as good as Lando Norris - Trevor Carlin

Team Owner Trevor Carlin believes his latest IndyCar recruit Patricio O'Ward is just as good as one of his former drivers, Lando Norris.

O'Ward joined Carlin on a 12-race deal with the British outfit, this came after a turbulent winter period which saw him set to race for Harding Steinbrenner Racing alongside 18-year old Colton Herta.

After a dispute with the HSR team, O'Ward walked away from them just weeks before the season opener in St.Petersburg.

The Mexican beat Herta to the 2018 Indy Lights championship which Carlin was impressed having fielded the American driver in previous European competitions.

Norris is set to begin his journey into Formula 1 with McLaren after spending two seasons as a development driver.

The 19-year old enjoyed a very successful junior career with Carlin, winning the British Formula 4 in 2015, European Formula 3 championship in 2017 and claim the runner-up spot in the 2018 Formula 2 championship with the Surrey-based squad.

"Part of the history with Carlin is we specialize in working with young drivers," said Carlin. "I'm always looking for talent, being in Formula 4, Formula 3, Indy Lights.

"Thanks to our involvement in Indy Lights, it got us into the States. I'm looking at the young drivers.

" I saw last year the fantastic battle with Patricio and Colton Herta. Colton Herta is an ex-Carlin driver from Europe.

"He had a young teammate, a kid called Lando Norris. I saw Colton and Lando Norris fighting tooth and nail. I said in 2015, Lando Norris will become a Formula 1 driver and Colton Herta will be an INDYCAR driver.

"That's happened. In the meantime, I've seen Patricio beat Colton. To my mind, it's a really simple analogy. Patricio is as good as Colton and Lando and is going to be a future champion. I'm super excited."

O'Ward's first drive for Carlin will be at the IndyCar Classic on March 22-24.