Ever since the beginning of this season, when McLaren fans noticed Daniel Ricciardo failing, time and again, to get into the top 5 or top 6 of the grid as they had expected him to, word started doing the rounds on the F1 communities about his possible contract termination and someone else replacing him at the papaya team. Then, the F1 followers scurried to find any potential racers who matched the requirements and would have been considered by McLaren for Daniel’s seat. That is when the name of IndyCar racer Patricio O’Ward came up in the list many times as it was reported that Zak Brown had had a talk with him about the opportunity at F1.
Months have passed since that news broke on the internet and now it seems McLaren is all set upon signing F2 Champion Oscar Piastri for their seat beside Lando Norris. This would mean that Patricio O’Ward was only given some fake hopes, and in actuality, there is no room for him in Formula 1 as of now. While speaking on this situation at a recent interview, O’Ward confirmed that he could not see any place for him in F1 right now as Zak Brown hardly has enough seats in his team for all his McLaren ‘juniors’.
Patricio O’Ward feels dismissed as McLaren eyes Oscar Piastri for a seat in F1 after giving false hopes to him
While McLaren seems to be tied in some contract issues with Alpine to secure Oscar Piastri for their 2023 campaign, it has become clear to Patricio O’Ward that the F1 is not going to him in any capacity. Now, the only seat left at the Woking-based team is of Lando Norris, but judging from the performance of the Belgian-British racer, McLaren will not be getting rid of him anytime soon. This has made Pat O’Ward quite angry at his situation because he feels like McLaren have made false promises to him while they were already considering Piastri for the second seat at their team.
Speaking of the “amusing” situation that O’Ward has discovered at McLaren, he said, “I found it laughable. I saw it and I laughed. The same prize [a debut in F1] has been put in front of many other drivers by Brown. In the end, there is only one seat and not five.”
He also talked about how the fake promise of a seat in F1 did not do him any good, “It’s not good for me to have that illusion. It’s a dream that’s very far away, because although I’m racing at a very high level, it’s still not enough to convince them. There are many things that come into play that are beyond me.”