Pato O'Ward, McLaren SP, IndyCar, Sebring, 2022

McLaren SP expect O’Ward to stay for “many more years”

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In the round-up: McLaren SP expect to extend IndyCar race-winner Pato O’Ward’s contract in the near future.

In brief

New McLaren deal close for O’Ward

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said an agreement for Pato O’Ward’s future with the team in IndyCar was “imminent” and that “we’re going to be together for many more years.”

O’Ward took his first win of the season for the team at the last round in Alabama. “He did an awesome job in Barber and he’s now a McLaren driver and it’s up to him and Andreas [Seidl] to decide on the Formula 1 side what the opportunities for testing may be.”

Having tested McLaren’s MCL35M in Abu Dhabi last year, O’Ward is one of several drivers under consideration to drive for the F1 team in the two obligatory free practice session outings for rookies later this year.

“There’s a note from F1 that said this year, they’re obliged by the regulations to test young drivers two times in free practice and that’s why we have kind of a selection process in place, whom we actually want to give the chance to be in the car for these two or three practice sessions,” said Seidl in response to a question from RaceFans.

“In order to make the selection we have now this year for the possibility to use the TPC [Testing of Previous Cars] car to give young guys a chance to show what they can do in a Formula 1 car and time in order to prepare them as good as possible for this testing. And then we will make up our mind who in the end gets the free practice sessions.”

McLaren fifth-fastest team after Miami – Norris

McLaren’s Lando Norris believes the team to be fifth-fastest, behind Mercedes and Alfa Romeo as well as the two top teams of Ferrari and Red Bull.

Norris admitted that it was “tough to know exactly what we’re going to do from this weekend,” in terms of developing McLaren’s car before Barcelona. But that “We’re behind Mercedes, behind Alfa Romeo but we really could fight with Alpine and AlphaTauri. Haas are there or thereabouts with us, as well.

“It’s close, so I think that puts us around fifth fastest,” Norris continued. “I think we have a decent pace. We just need a little bit more to be able to take the fight to Mercedes and the guys ahead.”

Mercedes explain tyre heat management improvement over a stint

Mercedes technical director Mike Elliott has explained why overheating was worse at the start of Lewis Hamilton’s hard tyre stint than it was at the end of the Miami Grand Prix.

“The majority of the heat that goes into the tyres comes from what is called hysteretic heating,” Elliott said in a video released by the team. “It comes from the fact that the rubber is constantly deflecting and bending and that sort of constant movement on the non-linear rubber means it adds heat and that hysteretic heat is being added all the time.

“But what happens is, as the tyres goes through the stint, they wear and as they wear, the gauge of the tyre gets smaller and smaller and as the tyre gets smaller and smaller in that gauge you get less of this hysteretic heating because it is just less rubber moving.

“So, what happened is that at the start of the stint the tyres were at their hottest and as the stint wears on and the tyres wear you get less and less heat input in the tyre and the tyre temperature comes down and becomes more manageable.”

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Comment of the day

After Alpine’s complaint that it did not get a chance to discuss Fernando Alonso‘s post-race time penalty with stewards, SjaakFoo points out that it is extremely unusual in sports for teams to expect to be able to affect the outcome of refereeing:

Only in F1 would a team say “I didn’t get to influence the umpire” and not bat an eye.

I’m glad the sport is righting that particular ship.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Steven!

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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6 comments on “McLaren SP expect O’Ward to stay for “many more years””

  1. 5th-fastest, maybe in Miami, but Montmelo could be a different story & that circuit usually gives a near-definitive view on regular competitive order.

    COTD is right. Good thing F1 isn’t like perhaps some other sports on this front.

    1. COTD – weird. I seem to recall that players/participants in other sports (tennis, football, rugby, (all kinds of) hockey, etc.) have discussions with the umpire all the time about the umpire’s rulings (or lack there of).

      1. And plenty of those participants have seen the consequences of excessively doing that, too.

        Sports is adrenaline-filled emotion, so in sports where you’re given a penalty on the field, it’s easy to see why you’ll be forgiven for shouting an angry response for a few seconds. But that’s vastly different from getting given a chance for an appeal right then and there and entering in a debate over it where you and the coach and the opposing players and coach get to plead their particular case. Generally: what the referee calls, goes.

        F1’s steward team, along with their new VAR-like base, should be treated the same. They make the calls, there should always be a degree of appeal after the fact (much like how one can appeal a red card match ban after the fact in footy, for instance), but not to the level where every call needs stewards meetings where teams get to plead every which way to reverse a call.

        1. I don’t disagree with most of these statements.
          Just don’t think that in other sports the participants don’t talk to the referee/umpire and try to ‘influence’ him/her/them as per the CotD.

  2. So Red Bull and McLaren agree: Patricio is not good enough for F1.

    1. The reason Red Bull let him go was because FIA decided to not give him enough super license points for his Indy lights title, Marko released him early so he could have other options. I would rather have O’Ward than Latifi.

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