O’Ward: “We just weren’t fast enough” to win Indy 500

Pato O’Ward says there’s “more to be done” at his Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet team if he is to contend for victory in next year’s Indianapolis 500 after he finished fourth on Sunday.

O’Ward started the race in 12th and quickly worked his way into the leading pack. He hit the front on Lap 78 and led 17 laps, running inside the top-three places for most of the 200-lap race.

However, he slipped to fourth on the final lap after Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud blasted past him on the back stretch.

“We were in the fight all day,” said O’Ward. “I think we had a perfect race, we just weren’t fast enough in the end. When they let us loose, I couldn’t quite catch Alex [Palou] and Helio [Castroneves]. We’ve got work to do for when we come back next year.

“Obviously, it burns a little bit to lose the third position on the last lap but I was trying everything I could to try and win this thing for the Arrow McLaren SP team. We will come back next race and hopefully do better.

“We should be very proud of the work we did but there is definitely more to be done.” 

Check out Autosport's Indy 500 podcast:

 
Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing Honda, Juan Pablo Montoya, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Jack Harvey, Meyer Shank Racing Honda, Juan Pablo Montoya, Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet, Will Power, Team Penske Chevrolet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

His temporary teammate, the two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, also scored a top-10 finish with a solid run to ninth place.

“It was a lot of fun and we had a really good car,” said Montoya, who started 24th. “We had great strategy and a great race car. It’s a shame, we were ahead of Simon [Pagenaud] most of the day, the No. 22 car and he finished third.

“We definitely had the car to be in the top five. We race hard, we try hard and we do the best we can. For being a one-off race, it’s been pretty cool.”

The third Arrow McLaren SP entry of Felix Rosenqvist also led seven laps, but this was due to running an alternate strategy after a pitlane speeding penalty early on. He was forced to pit from the lead with just seven laps to go and ended up finishing 27th. 

“We gambled on a fuel-save strategy to give us a yellow in the end, but it didn’t come, [and] that was it,” he admitted.

shares
comments

Related video

Helio just gave me 10 more years of my career, says Pagenaud

Previous article

Helio just gave me 10 more years of my career, says Pagenaud

Next article

Rahal's missed shot at Indy 500 win "is going to sting"

Rahal's missed shot at Indy 500 win "is going to sting"
Load comments
The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie Prime

The lasting legacy of a fallen Indy car rookie

Jeff Krosnoff was plucked out of obscurity to become a respected and highly popular professional in Japan, and then got his big break in CART Indy car for 1996. But a tragic accident at Toronto 25 years ago cut short a promising career and curtailed his regular teammate Mauro Martini's passion for racing.

IndyCar
Jul 14, 2021
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious? Prime

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 25, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Prime

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there? By David Malsher-Lopez.

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Prime

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021