Pato O'Ward signs 2-year extension with McLaren's IndyCar team

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Pato O'Ward signed a multi-year extension with McLaren Racing, the IndyCar team announced Friday.

The 24-year-old Mexican driver is entering his fifth full season in IndyCar, all with Arrow McLaren, and late last year was named McLaren's reserve driver for its Formula 1 team.

The Indianapolis Star reported this week that O'Ward had signed a two-year extension after the F1 promotion that pushed his contract past its original 2025 expiration and earned him $10.2 million in additional pay. The disclosure was in court documents related to McLaren's breach of contract suit against Alex Palou, who changed his mind about joining McLaren for the IndyCar season that begins next week.

O'Ward has four career wins and 20 podium finishes in 64 starts with McLaren. He also earned the Super License required to compete in F1. The team said Friday O'Ward will be McLaren's reserve F1 driver following the IndyCar season, which ends in September.

“I couldn’t be more excited to sign this deal with the team," O'Ward said. "McLaren has become home for me, and I am proud that I’ll be racing in papaya for a few more years at least.”

Arrow McLaren team principal Gavin Ward said the team has grown around O'Ward. McLaren this year will field cars for O'Ward, Alexander Rossi and David Malukas, but Malukas was recently injured and is expected to miss the first two races of the season.

“It’s been great to see Pato and the team grow together. We’re thrilled to continue racing with him and I look forward to showing the racing world what we can achieve as a group,” Ward said. “Having this done and dusted before the start of the season means the No. 5 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet crew can go into the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg free from distraction and with one goal in mind: to execute each race weekend to the fullest of our potential.”

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