O’Ward leaves Red Bull, targets IndyCar return

Patricio O’Ward has parted company with the Red Bull driver academy, clearing the path for a return to the IndyCar scene in 2020.

Following the news that O’Ward would be replaced by Red Bull-backed Juri Vips for the Super Formula season finale, the Mexican is reported to have confirmed his split with the Red Bull driver programme.

According to Racer, when O’Ward was asked about a potential return to IndyCar – and a move to Arrow McLaren SP – he responded:

“Be patient, good things are coming.”

“My release from Red Bull was going to be November, but Dr. Helmut Marko called and said, ‘Hey you have options in IndyCar, take it. That’s your future’. I really appreciated him doing that.”

The reigning Indy Lights champion started the 2019 season in the IndyCar championship and impressive performances prompted Red Bull to add him to their roster.

With Red Bull exploring their junior driver options and seeking a category for O’Ward to gain more super license points, he made a one-off appearance in the Formula Two championship and replaced Dan Ticktum in the Super Formula series.

He would likely have competed in one of those championships in an attempt to earn enough Formula One Super Licence points to be allowed to compete in Formula One.

However, his quest for a Super Licence was hampered by the FIA reducing the value of his Indy Lights title, due to the low car count.

This has triggered a split between O’Ward and Red Bull, with the 20-year-old seemingly seeking a return to the IndyCar championship.

It is believed that O’Ward could join McLaren’s intensifying IndyCar project. McLaren will collaborate with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports to run under the Arrow McLaren SP name.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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