McLaren will give IndyCar driver Pat O'Ward a second chance to test a Formula One car in free practice in Abu Dhabi as they look to make the Mexican their back-up driver.
According to the rules, McLaren has to give another free practice session to a rookie this year, after they filled the first one with Ocar Piastri, who made his debut as a regular driver in training in Bahrain, and according to the original plans, Alex Palou would have been given the honor. However, since the latter did not decide to join McLaren's IndyCar team, they looked for another plan in Woking.
O'Ward will therefore take part in the first free practice in Abu Dhabi, as well as in the tire testing, which will follow the last race of the F1 season on Tuesday.
McLaren team boss Andrea Stella says O'Ward's fourth-place finish in the IndyCar Championship has qualified him for an F1 superlicence. "We are now checking this with the FIA and we think he meets the conditions to drive an F1 car and become our reserve driver.
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