F1 News

This Mexican wants to succeed Perez: 'I have shown I have quality'

This Mexican wants to succeed Perez: 'I have shown I have quality'

1 April - 08:00

Ludo van Denderen

With Lando Norris (24) and Oscar Piastri (22), Formula 1 team McLaren is basically equipped with two excellent drivers for many years to come. In the background, the British team also has Ryo Hirakawa and Pato O'Ward, who are the reserve drivers. The latter has been successful for McLaren's IndyCar team, but has never made a secret of his desire to make the switch to Formula 1 one day.

Time is slowly running out for that, though. The Mexican is already 24 years old, and with so much young talent that has made its way into the premier class of motorsport in recent years, it is becoming more unlikely every year that O'Ward will get a chance. The Mexican himself - who was once briefly part of the Red Bull Junior Team - has given himself a deadline by which his dream must have come true.

O'Ward hopes for chance at McLaren

"As soon as I turn 27, I want to be in Formula 1," he told ESPN. "I turn 25 this year, and as much as I want to stay fresh until I'm 30, behind me are people who are younger than me. I may be better, or more experienced; if they can train someone, the choice will not fall on me. You have to be in shape in this class if you want a future in Formula 1. But once I'm 27 or 28, it becomes very difficult."

So O'Ward's conclusion is: "If it doesn't work out within three years, it's not going to happen. It's true that in Formula 1 tests I show that I have enough qualities to belong, but if I don't get the chance, it's harder to keep the motivation." According to the Mexican, McLaren at least believes in him. The team would not invest millions to let him test the F1 car regularly if they didn't believe in him.