The McLaren Formula 1 team has added NTT IndyCar Series driver Pato O'Ward to its list of reserve drivers for 2024.
O'Ward is no stranger to the McLaren F1 program, having previously taken part in driver development tests, the 2021 Abu Dhabi Young Drivers test and a free practice 1 session with the McLaren F1 team in 2022.
O'Ward, who drives for the Arrow McLaren team in IndyCar, is scheduled to participate in an FP1 session on Friday in Abu Dhabi, as well.
“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.
"With the expansive calendar, it’s prudent to ensure we have a wide pool of drivers that we can call upon if required. We look forward to seeing him progress in this new role.”
The 24-year-old O'Ward is coming off a solid season in IndyCar, where he finished fourth in the final season points standings for Arrow McLaren.
“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."