Arrow McLaren SP NTT IndyCar Series driver Pato O’Ward said that he had an awesome day testing the McLaren F1 MCL35M in the young driver test at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday as his reward for such a strong season with Arrow McLaren SP in IndyCar in 2021.
Speaking following the test, the Mexican said:
“Today was awesome! The car exceeded my expectations of what it’s capable of – it’s ridiculous how much grip there is, specifically in the fast corners – it’s unbelievable. For sure, in the morning, my head was still on my neck. But towards the end of the day, I really think what ended up limiting me being able to go quicker was just not being able to hold my head up and see fully where I was going. My head actually was just looking down because I couldn’t hold it up! It’s such an awesome car. What a great experience, I didn’t want the day to finish. I’d like to thank Zak, Andreas and everyone in the F1 team for supporting me through this incredible day.”
Daniel Ricciardo was also in the car on Tuesday and speaking following the action the Australian said:
“It’s been a good day of testing to close out the 2021 season. Getting some track time on the 2022 tyre has been really useful. We’ve managed to learn a lot and gather a load of data, which is useful heading into next season. There’s still some bits we need to learn before we go racing next year but we’re in a good place. Now I’m looking forward to getting home, catching up with family and taking some time off before we get back in the car in February.”
McLaren Executive Director Racing Andrea Stella commented saying:
“A very productive day. We obviously split the cars, with Daniel working on the 2022 tyres and Pato behind the wheel for the first time in a McLaren Formula 1, driving the 2021 car. It was very useful and interesting testing the 2022 tyres, with plenty of learning. We will review this data overnight and use it to prepare for day two as thoroughly as possible, with Lando at the wheel tomorrow. We’ve been very impressed with Pato’s speed, his attitude and how rapidly he’s learned. We look forward to another productive day tomorrow, before this long season comes to a close.”