Pato O’Ward will remain with the Arrow McLaren SP team for the 2021 IndyCar season, having shown “incredible form this year” according to team co-owner Sam Schmidt.
The 2018 Indy Lights champion has been one of the stars of IndyCar this year despite it being his first full season in the top tier of American single-seater racing.
Due to several races with Carlin in 2019 he cannot be classified as a rookie this season but has still only started 21 races in his IndyCar career.
Despite his relative lack of experience – as well as the absence of testing and restricted track time on race weekends due to the coronavirus pandemic – O’Ward has scored a pole position and three podium finishes after 13 races and sits fifth in the standings.
“I am beyond excited to be racing with Arrow McLaren SP next season to build on what we have accomplished so far this year,” said O’Ward. “Such a great group of people who truly have welcomed me like a second family.
“Given how much change I have seen in my career to this point, it is invaluable to get the opportunity to put down roots and build on a foundation year over year.”
Team co-owner Schmidt said: “The entire team and I are thrilled to have Pato back in the car next year. He has shown incredible form this year and has kept himself in the championship hunt all season long.
“I think he has the potential to compete at the highest level in the IndyCar Series for a long time.”
The announcement that O’Ward will remain with the team comes just a day after his Arrow McLaren SP team-mate Oliver Askew was confirmed as not continuing with the squad next season – and he may have to miss the final round at St Petersburg depending on the results of a medical.
Three-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves could be in line to partner O’Ward next season, having raced for the squad earlier this year in place of Askew and after making it clear he wishes to return to IndyCar full-time.