How Oscar Piastri F1 Contract Extension with McLaren Affects Pato O’Ward

Jackson Wheeler
3 Min Read

McLaren Racing has extended its contract with driver Oscar Piastri through the end of the 2026 Formula 1 season.

The long-term extension was announced today, ahead of this weekend’s Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Piastri, 22, joined McLaren on a multi-year deal ahead of the 2023 campaign. Piastri, who won the 2021 Formula 2 title, has impressed through 2023 with his methodical approach and has improved his results amid McLaren’s mid-season gains.

Piastri is 11th in this year’s championship and took a best finish of fourth in Britain, along with second in Belgium’s Sprint Race.

Wednesday’s announcement locks down McLaren’s Formula 1 driver pairing through 2025, with Lando Norris contracted until then, while effectively ending any small hopes of Pato O’Ward making the transition from IndyCar at least in the next two years.

O’Ward will participate in practice in Abu Dhabi, and is expected to be officially nominated as a reserve driver, after IndyCar champion Alex Palou turned his back on McLaren.

“It’s fantastic to confirm that Oscar has signed a multi-year extension with the team,” said McLaren team principal Andrea Stella. “Oscar is an asset to McLaren and constantly impresses with his performance, work ethic and attitude, so it was an easy decision for the team to make. He has already proved pivotal to the team, so it’s brilliant to have his vote of confidence as we push to win championships again in the future. I look forward to seeing him develop with us as we continue this journey together.”

Australian driver Piastri indicated that renewing with McLaren was a no-brainer.

“I am thrilled to be extending my partnership with McLaren for many years,” he said. “I want to be fighting it out at the front of the grid with this team and I am excited by the vision and foundations that are already being laid to get us there.

“The welcome that I have received and the relationships that I have built make this feel like home already. The team’s consistent commitment in me has made me feel incredibly valued and the desire from the team for me to be part of its long-term future made this an easy decision. To be wanted like that and for the team to show so much belief in me after just half a season, means a lot.”

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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