The Arrow McLaren driver took over the lead following the clash between polesitter Romain Grosjean and Scott McLaughlin, and was working arduous to carry off the charging Ericsson within the closing levels of the occasion.
However exiting the ultimate nook on the finish of lap 96, O’Ward’s Chevrolet engine suffered a flash plenum hearth which forces a driver to briefly again off the throttle.
The hiccup was simply lengthy sufficient to permit Chip Ganassi Racing driver Ericsson into the lead, and O’Ward barely held off the Swede’s team-mate Scott Dixon within the ultimate 4 laps to safe second.
“We did every part proper at present, I’ve acquired to present it to the group,” mentioned O’Ward.
“Not simply our #5 automotive, however Felix [Rosenqvist], Alex [Rossi], their teams, as nicely – I really feel like we have all actually collaborated fantastically and include a package deal that has been an enormous step as much as the place we have been final 12 months, in order that’s tremendous promising. Tremendous pleased with that…
“Sadly, it’s simply very annoying to present it away like that. Nothing else I may have finished.
“It shut off with a plenum hearth. You must let off, get again to it.
“It comes up randomly. You may’t actually predict it. So yeah, we simply have to take a look into it.
“We ended up with some nice factors. We began the 12 months like we wished to, proper?
Pato O’Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, Marcus Ericsson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, Scott Dixon, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, podium
Picture by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images
“However they’re very priceless factors on the finish of the day. We simply acquired 10 factors thrown away.
“We’ll take a look in any respect the info and stuff after which simply ensure that how for that to not occur and look ahead to Dallas.”
Regardless of Ericsson’s comments to the contrary, O’Ward is assured he may have held on to the lead by to the checkered flag had he not suffered the plenum occasion.
“I believe we’d have been simply effective,” he acknowledged.
“We have been managing a one-second hole, and I do not assume Marcus was going to get us.
“Proper on the exit [of the final turn], we form of misplaced drive and gained it again. We have been fortunate to not get handed by Scott.
“I do not know what else to let you know. It’s extremely unlucky.”
His new Arrow McLaren team-mate Rossi got here dwelling in fourth, whereas Rosenqvist was sidelined by harm from a coming along with Dixon on the opening lap for which the Kiwi later apologised.
Rosenqvist misplaced 40 laps whereas repairs have been effected and was categorised 19th.
“He mentioned he didn’t see me and he truly got here as much as apologise afterwards, which was good of him,” mentioned Rosenqvist.
“We’re at all times effective. It was simply a kind of issues.”