Formula 1 | O’Ward reacts to Piastri’s snub: “I no longer believed in the illusion of F1”

McLaren, a few months ago, seemed to promise a destiny in F1 to Pato O’Ward, its IndyCar driver; or at least, Woking helped keep that hope alive.

But the leftovers: The Piastri imbroglio revealed to O’Ward that instead of using McLaren’s extensive pool of drivers, the F1 team would prefer to hire Alpine driver Oscar Piastri.

It is certainly a rejection for O’Ward, as for Herta or Palou, other pilots of the orange group.

For O’Ward, as he told ESPN, this looks like the end of F1 illusions. No hard feelings?

“It does me no good to have this illusion. In this sense, I feel that I have matured in that the illusion is a very distant illusion, because even though I have a very, very high level, what I have is not what you can convince them with. [chez McLaren]. »

“There are many other things and politics, there are many things that are out of my control, that I can never control, and therefore I have to let it go, because it makes no sense to embrace this illusion. »

O’Ward reacted with irony and good humor to the news of the Piastri case, posting a message with a popcorn emoji. What should you see?

“I felt sorry, and that post was a laugh. I see it and I laugh. Because, I don’t know, that very goal [accéder à la F1] it was offered to many pilots, and sooner or later there is only one “dessert”, not five. »

“So I just thought about pure laughter, the truth is, there’s been so much that’s changed and changed and changed again… I get to the same point, so why stress?” »

“The truth is that since the beginning of the year I have put an end to this idea [la F1] and I stopped thinking about it, because this idea excites you, that’s why everyone wants to leave everything they have for this illusion. But I’m a smart man, I’m not stupid and I know how things happened, but I don’t have much to say in this situation and it doesn’t help me to have that illusion. I love Indycar, I want to grow this championship, I want it to go to Mexico, I want it to be global, I want to help it continue to grow because it has great potential. »

“Right now you can’t present me with something realistic for a Formula 1 seat, because you don’t have seats, they’re gone.”

Did McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown promise O’Ward an F1 car? Will the latter close the door on McLaren’s vault in response?

“Yeah, (Zak told him about an F1 contract), but the IndyCar season is right now, I’m with this team, it’s not like I can say, ‘I’m done with this and I’m going to do something else.’ . I can’t leave anyway, he signed me to his Indycar team, and if he wants to put me in a Formula 1 car, he can put me in a Formula 1 car.”

McLaren offered O’Ward free practice 1 in return this year, likely in Austin or Mexico. Will it be enough to quell his biting irony?

“Which I would like, because this McLaren seat is already reserved, the only thing that suits me is that they give me these EL1s, that’s the only thing that suits me, the fact of driving. [pour des essais privés] it doesn’t suit me at all. The truth is, I’m not interested in putting the energy and effort into going around in circles. »

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