O’Ward has "unfinished business" with race wins in 2021

Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar ace Pato O’Ward says he is eager to attend to "unfinished business" in 2021 after coming close to a maiden win on several occasions last season.

O’Ward has "unfinished business" with race wins in 2021

The Mexican youngster earned huge praise from rivals for his first full IndyCar season after completing eight races with the Harding Racing and Carlin squads, finishing fourth in the championship with four podium finishes to his name.

The 2018 Indy Lights champion finished runner-up three times, including at Road America to new team-mate Felix Rosenqvist who recently labelled O'Ward "one of the quickest young drivers out there at the moment – not only in the US but in the world".

Speaking in last week's IndyCar content days, O'Ward said the near-misses at Road America, the Gateway oval and St. Petersburg street circuit had made him "hungry" to break his victory duck.

“I feel like last year we left a lot of unfinished business,” he said.

“We were close to winning four races, and we didn't get it done. There were tough pills to swallow, and I felt like that left everyone in the team so hungry.

“I can see it from the off-season, just how much work has been put into the development of trying to make the cars go faster at the speedway and road courses.

“I have lots of faith in what we can accomplish as a group. It's going to be ridiculously hard, but it is possible.”

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet

Photo by: IndyCar Series

O'Ward added that he has specifically targeted superspeedways as a key area to improve on in 2021.

“I think I've still a long ways to learn in superspeedways because they’re new to me,” he said.

“You just don't learn it from one night to another or from one race to the other. So I think that's where I can see myself improving, I want to be better in just knowing what to expect a little bit more.

“Heading into one of those races, for example the Indy 500 [where he finished fifth] or Iowa [where he was robbed of a podium by a slow pitstop], it was like driving into a black hole! I think that is somewhere where I think I can improve, and I will be working hard to try and learn as much as I can.

“I think it's just a learning process. You don't learn it all in one year or two years. It can take 10 years. But I just think the more you can learn, the faster, the better you're going to be in your career.”

shares
comments

Related video

IndyCar reduces road course events to two days
Previous article

IndyCar reduces road course events to two days

Next article

Rahal: IndyCar enjoying a 'golden era' for driver talent

Rahal: IndyCar enjoying a 'golden era' for driver talent
How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled Plus

How Ericsson achieved Indy immortality as Ganassi's main man stumbled

Chip Ganassi Racing team was strong again in the Indianapolis 500, with poleman Scott Dixon and reigning champion Alex Palou leading almost three quarters of the race between them. But when dominator Dixon was penalised for pitlane speeding, ex-Formula 1 driver Marcus Ericsson stepped up to score the biggest win of his career and seize the IndyCar points lead

IndyCar
May 30, 2022
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 21, 2021
How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential Plus

How F1's other IndyCar exile finally unlocked his potential

Romain Grosjean's swashbuckling rookie year in IndyCar captured the imagination of many in 2021. But another ex-Formula 1 driver whose potential was masked by five years of toil in, at best, middling machinery also enjoyed a breakout year in 2021 - winning twice and finishing sixth in points. Here's how Marcus Ericsson finally delivered on his promise

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best Plus

How Ganassi's relentless new champion outfoxed IndyCar's best

IndyCar sophomore Alex Palou stunned by overcoming team-mate Scott Dixon and the rest of a white-hot field in 2021. He was consistently fast and crucially showed a level head, rebounding well from setbacks to put himself in a near unassailable position entering the final round

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Plus

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Despite appearing to have an IndyCar job for life with Meyer Shank Racing, Jack Harvey’s departure and move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate. However, Harvey's and RLL's combined strengths could prove to be a winning combination - if they get the balance right

IndyCar
Oct 17, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win Plus

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing IndyCar win

Saturday 16 October marks the 10th anniversary of Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Plus

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong junior career and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star Plus

Why IndyCar title glory is just the start for Ganassi's new star

Newly-crowned IndyCar champion Alex Palou has been lauded as a complete driver and veteran-like in only his second season. The 24-year-old is still in the early days of his career, but the parallels are there for all to see with his six-time champion Chip Ganassi Racing team-mate who has been CGR's team leader since 2014

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021