O'Ward: F2 debut was "a proper ass-whipping"

Red Bull junior Patricio O’Ward says he “never felt slower” after an “ass-whipping” on his Formula 2 debut, but said the sprint race was a “major leap forward”.

O'Ward: F2 debut was "a proper ass-whipping"

Carlin IndyCar driver O’Ward joined the Red Bull junior programme in May, and stepped into the MP Motorsport F2 seat replacing the banned Mahaveer Raghunathan for one round. 

He qualified two tenths off experienced teammate Jordan King, but fell away to last in the feature race amid a race where many drivers struggled with heavy tyre degradation.

“I got a proper ass-whipping today to be honest,” O’Ward told Motorsport.com after the feature race. “I don’t know what to say. I’ve never felt slower in my life. 

“I have to learn to manage this tyre. I dropped 45 seconds in a matter of 40 laps.

“I thought I was saving the tyres, and I was going slow to save the tyres, but they still went off.”

In the sprint race, he took 14th, 22 seconds off the leader in a race with 12 fewer laps than the feature event.

“I thought that was a lot better,” he added. “Obviously it’s not where we want to be, but I think it was a major, major leap forward from yesterday and today we could actually race. 

“I think it will help to start further forward next time, and obviously just keep getting better and better. 

“I end the weekend a lot happier than what I was yesterday. 

"Unlucky in the last few laps where a few people pitted and had fresh tyres. If it wasn’t for that we would have been around the top 10 mark, that’s great, starting last.”

It was confirmed over the weekend that O’Ward would take expelled Red Bull junior Dan Ticktum’s seat in Super Formula for the remainder of the season.

O’Ward said that his IndyCar season could be over, and there’s a possibility of more F2 rounds later in the year.

Raghunathan is expected to be back at MP Motorsport for Silverstone in two weeks.

There were two other drivers making season debuts at the weekend. Ryan Tveter is attempting to find the budget to return to Trident Racing at Silverstone, while Arjun Maini has one more round left on his deal with Campos Racing.

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