Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama race winner Pato O’Ward is not looking for a future in Formula One. The Mexican who claimed his first win of the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park is on the verge of signing a new contract to remain with Arrow McLaren SP in the NTT IndyCar Series long-term.
O’Ward has been linked to a move to Formula One with Arrow McLaren SP’s sister team the McLaren Formula One team however, with the news that Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta has been signed to the newly formed McLaren F1 test program, O’Ward’s focus is firmly on winning the NTT IndyCar Series championship.
The NTT IndyCar Series off-season was plagued with rumors around O’Ward’s future in the NTT IndyCar Series as it was understood that he still had the desire to move to Formula One, however, speaking to the media following his first win of the season last weekend, O’Ward said that he is happy where he is at and is looking forward to the month of May and fighting for victory in the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge which takes place on May 29.
While O’Ward’s future is set, what is unclear is what will happen with Daniel Ricciardo with several publications including Australia’s Herald Sun suggesting that he could be replaced at McLaren by Colton Herta for the 2023 season onwards.
Paddock Eye understands that Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti is keen to place Colton Herta in a Formula One race in 2023 before his own Formula One team makes its debut in the sport in 2024.
There has been speculation that should Andretti Autosport be given the green light to enter a team in Formula One they would form a technical partnership with McLaren Racing which makes sense given Michael Andretti and Zak Brown’s existing business partnerships.