O’Ward: F1 chances a ‘distant illusion’ amid Piastri saga

Pato O’Ward

McLaren IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward believes his chances of getting into Formula 1 are now a distant illusion amid the saga surrounding Oscar Piastri.

Piastri was in line to replace Fernando Alonso at the Alpine F1 Team next year, but looks set to defect to McLaren.

The move will impact the incumbent Daniel Ricciardo, who has asked for an eight-figure pay-out in exchange for the early termination of his contract with McLaren, as revealed by Speedcafe.com.

Another flow-on-effect of the saga is the stockpile of drivers at McLaren.

Since the Piastri-McLaren bombshell came to light, Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta have had their chances of getting a seat in F1 reduced.

While Herta drives for Andretti Autorsport in IndyCar and O’Ward for McLaren, both drivers have tested an F1 car for the papaya operation.

Effectively shuffled down the line by Piastri, Mexican driver O’Ward appears to have written off his chances of a future drive in F1.

“It doesn’t do me any good to have that illusion,” he told ESPN.

“Up to that point I feel that I have matured in the aspect that the illusion is a very distant illusion.

“Although I am driving at a very, very high level, not even with that am I going to be able to convince them.

“There are many more things and policies, there are many things that are very much out of my control, that I will never be able to control and that is where I have to leave it, because it is no use marrying the illusion.”

While O’Ward reckons the Piastri-McLaren contract saga is laughable, he has now settled his focus on IndyCar.

“Then the only thing that has left me thinking about that is pure laughter,” added O’Ward.

“It’s not that I’m not part of it, yes I am, the truth is that there have been so many things that have been changing and changing more and now… I get to the same point, how does it help me to get stressed?

“The truth is that since the beginning of the year I put a stop to it and stopped thinking about it, because that idea excites you – that’s why everyone wants to leave, for that illusion.

“But I’m a smart man and I know how things have been signing up, but it doesn’t do me any good to have that illusion.

“And I love IndyCar – I want it to grow, go to Mexico, become global, I want to help everything continue to grow because it has immense potential.”

O’Ward has signed a three-year contract extension with McLaren SP in IndyCar which will keep the Mexican where he is through the end of the 2025 season.

The next IndyCar race is the last oval event of the season, at Gateway Motorsports Park on August 19-20 (local time).

Every IndyCar race is live and ad-free on Stan Sport.

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