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McLaren

O'Ward reveals thoughts after nearly stopping metres into F1 debut

IndyCar star Pato O'Ward had a brief scare just a couple of corners after he rolled out of the pits in Free Practice 1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

O Ward abu dhabi
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Pato O'Ward has revealed what was going through his head when it looked like a terminal issue might bring his debut FP1 appearance to an early end.

The Mexican managed to get out of Turn 5 in the McLaren before slowing on the main back straight, with the team instructing him not to change out of second gear.

O'Ward has recalled the moment it happened on his F1 weekend debut.

"I was definitely like, 'Oh, I really hope it doesn't get cut short', you know?" he told media, including RacingNews365.com.

"Because it was [a] very exciting time for me to get my first FP1 under my belt."

Once he made it back to the pits it took the team a couple of minutes to sort the problem, before he emerged back out on track to complete a total of 22 laps.

O'Ward said: "At that point that was just trying to make sure my communications to the team were clear, because I was getting bounced around quite aggressively in the car.

"I don't have much experience, so I don't know what that meant. I don't think we knew at the time either.

"We came into the box and gave it a reset, which seemed to fix [the problem]."

O'Ward: When you first step into an F1 car, you don't know what to expect

O'Ward has already tested McLaren's 2021 car along with fellow IndyCar star Alex Palou at both the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and Red Bull Ring.

Since then he has worked on his fitness, having stated that he suffered a lot with his neck during the tests.

"I've done so much on my neck, you have no idea," explained O'Ward.

"I've always put a lot of emphasis on my physical and I've always said, 'I do not want that to be a limitation.'

"But when you first step into an F1 car, you don't know what to expect.

"My neck had [previously] given up after doing a good amount of laps, but it wasn't the case this time. He held up real nice!"

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F1 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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