McLaren confirms driver for Abu Dhabi test: 'We would never do that'

16-10-2021 15:13 | Updated: 16-10-2021 17:48
by GPblog.com
F1 News
McLaren confirms driver for Abu Dhabi test: 'We would never do that'

McLaren will field IndyCar talent Patricio O'Ward during the Abu Dhabi tests. McLaren CEO Zak Brown revealed that a possible move from IndyCar to Formula 1 is being considered for O'Ward, but the team first wants to see how the Mexican performs in an F1 car.

Brown sees talented driver in O'Ward

O'Ward was competing for the IndyCar title until the final race at Long Beach in 2021. In that race, he was nudged by Ed Jones at the end of the first lap, which later caused him to retire and saw his title dreams disappear.

Brown is very complimentary of O'Ward, who scored multiple victories in IndyCar in 2021. "It's been a great season, he's obviously one of the fastest drivers in IndyCar," Brown told the Spanish branch of Motorsport.com.

Opportunities in Formula One

"We would never do that," Brown says of the chances of O'Ward driving a free practice session in 2021. Brown reveals that the battle for third place in the championship with Ferrari is too important and that Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris need all the laps in that battle.

"We will see after he drives the car in Abu Dhabi. He is focused on the IndyCar and I want him to stay very focused on it. Obviously drivers always have ambitions to drive in Formula One, but I think we have to see how it goes in Abu Dhabi," said Brown.

"As you've been told, the best way to go to Formula One is to do what [Jacques] Villeneuve or [Juan Pablo] Montoya did in IndyCar. Then we'll see what happens," the American concluded. Both Villeneuve and Montoya became champions in IndyCar before moving to F1.

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