Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

O’Ward had “year of personal growth” in 2023 – Arrow McLaren boss Ward

Arrow McLaren team principal Gavin Ward saw more maturity out of Pato O’Ward during a stout 2023 campaign in the IndyCar Series and believes more remains on the table.

Pato O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Gavin Baker / Motorsport Images

Although O’Ward, 24, failed to win last season, he still managed to capture a career-high seven podiums on the year, along with 14 top 10s through 17 rounds to finish fourth in the championship standings. It marked the third consecutive season he was the highest ranked driver not affiliated with Chip Ganassi Racing or Team Penske.

Ward, who joined the organisation in July 2022 after the previous four years at Penske that included engineering Josef Newgarden to the 2019 title, shared what he saw out of O’Ward last season.

“Yeah, first, I think Pato had a very strong year and a year of personal growth,” Ward told Autosport. “I loved his consistency. I loved his mental approach. He was really a joy to work with. I think everyone's kind of seen that in him. He's pushing the team to be better, and we need that.

“I think there's room for another step for him again to really to get top, top level. He's got all the talent. I just see a great focus out of him right now.”

The addition of David Malukas, who replaces Felix Rosenqvist after the previous two years with Dale Coyne Racing, alongside Alexander Rossi and O’Ward has Ward full of anticipation.

“I'm excited with the whole lineup going into next year,” Ward said. “What I would say in terms of what we need, we were just missing a little bit in race day performance. We've been working pretty hard on our side and working with Chevy, which is an awesome partner, to find that step to get us up on the top step next year.

Gavin Ward, Arrow McLaren

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Gavin Ward, Arrow McLaren

“It's a little bit of race day performance. I think that we get just a little bit better executing on race day we'll be there. Without getting into too many specifics, I feel pretty good with what we've got coming here.”

When pressed for specific areas of improvement, Ward provided a wide smile and a laugh before obliging.

“I think we need to be better at the fuel economy game,” Ward said. “I think we got beat several times by the Ganassis and fuel strategy. We're looking at everything that we can do to maximise that.

“We want to be a little better in pitlane. We think we're the third best team in pitlane. We want to be the best there; not far off. I think it's doable, but we're up against some really strong competitors that have been doing this for a long time. And just minimising mistakes. I don't think we had a lot, but we had a few.

Read Also:

“The other area for the team in general, although I would say the #5 car wasn't on the brunt of that perhaps as much as a couple of our other team cars, but we have a real focus on reliability.

“Improving our processes as a team to work with this three-car setup, more people does require a bit more process. So, this offseason, that's been a huge focus for us, buttoning up all our procedures. Frankly, I want everybody to come in here every day and think, 'What am I here to do today?' It's like, 'Build a better race cars; how are we gonna do that?’ Across the board.”

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article IndyCar 2023 season review: Chip Ganassi Racing
Next article When is F1 and every other motorsport series starting in 2024?

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe