Pato O’Ward shared the latest developments regarding contract talks with Arrow McLaren SP.
The 22-year-old Mexican’s future with the team has been the subject of speculation since March, following McLaren announcing Colton Herta, who drives for AMSP rival Andretti Autosport, as a test driver to its Formula 1 program.
While the start of 2022 has been a mixed bag of results, O’Ward shook off any potential distractions on Sunday to claim his first win of the season – third of his IndyCar career – at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.
“Man, it sucks to be at war within your own team,” said O’Ward, driver of the No. 5 AMSP Chevrolet. “I’m glad there’s been very positive talks for the future and man I wanted to do it for these guys. I wanted to do it for Arrow McLaren SP, Team Chevy – they’ve swept this year so far so it’s great for them. I was tired of being 10th and 11th and 5th, so I said, ‘Let’s get a win under our belts so we can claw our way back into this championship fight.”
The win elevated O’Ward to fifth in the championship standings, 30 points behind leader Alex Palou.
During a post-race media availability, O’Ward provided an update regarding a new contract with the team.
“I’d say it’s close,” he said. “But honestly, you know, we’re into the season already, so I’m kind of — I don’t want to worry about it. I think things will shape up. There’s been very positive conversations. I think the vibe in the team is fantastic. I think that’s what we need going into the month of May. The rest I think will take care of itself.
“I don’t have a date for you. I guess whenever it’s signed, you’ll probably see it in the media somewhere. Probably be one of the first ones to know actually.”
Taylor Kiel, O’Ward’s race strategist and president at AMSP, added, “Yeah, what Pato said. We’re in a good place.”