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
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021