Pato O’Ward has been confirmed to join McLaren F1 Team as a reserve driver for the 2024 season.
NTT IndyCar Series driver Pato O’Ward has been officially confirmed to join the McLaren F1 team’s reserve driver roster for 2024. The Mexican will continue as a full-time for Arrow McLaren in its IndyCar program besides filling in as a reserve driver.
O’Ward is an experienced racer in the McLaren F1 program, having participated in driver development tests, the Abu Dhabi Young Drivers test in 2021 and a free practice session with the McLaren F1 team in 2022.
As part of his progress in the team’s driver development program, he will perform the same duties this weekend in lieu of Lando Norris during FP1 before making another appearance in the MCL60 at the post-season test.
“Pumped to take on this new role within the McLaren Racing family,” O’Ward said. “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 (McLaren Racing CEO) Zak (Brown) for this great opportunity.”
The 24-year-old is now qualified for a Super License after placing fourth in the IndyCar championship this year.
“The McLaren Formula 1 Team are pleased to welcome Pato O’Ward to our pool of reserve drivers for the 2024 season,” said McLaren F1 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.”
The announcement comes after O’Ward ran Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 championship-winning McLaren MP4-23 at the Velocity Invitional vintage event at California’s Sonoma Raceway last week.