Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA USA
Interview
IndyCar Mid-Ohio

O'Ward on IndyCar hybrid system: "You definitely feel it"

The leading man for Arrow McLaren shared thoughts on the hybrid after its race weekend debut in a rain-impacted opening practice at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Penske Entertainment

The hybrid unit finally made its much-anticipated race weekend debut in opening practice at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and although mixed conditions limited running it was still enough to recognize the differences for Pato O’Ward. 

IndyCar’s new era combines the current 2.2-liter twin-turbocharged V6 internal combustion engine with supercapacitor hybrid technology that features a low-voltage (48V) motor generator unit (MGU) with an energy storage system (ESS). Together with push-to-pass, there is over 800 horsepower available for the driver.

The 25-year-old Mexican only logged 11 laps in the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet, with a best of 1m07.8407s to end up seventh overall when the checkered flag fell in a session that was impacted midway through by rain. 

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Penske Entertainment

“You can feel it,” said O’Ward, currently sixth in the championship standings. 

“You can definitely feel it when you engage the deploy. It's obviously not as big as I think people are thinking in terms of lap time. It's less than two tenths I would say with a perfectly optimized usage of deployment strategy.

“I think the system is capable of so much more, so I would like to see that evolve into let's really push this system and see how much it can actually give us in terms of lap time because if it gives us four, five, six tenths over the lap, I think that's when we'll really see it getting optimized by all the teams and just trying to perfect it as much as possible because now it won't be as -- it'll usually overthrow a little balance difference in the car exactly.

“Yeah, so far I think we're just working through it. Obviously it's brand new, and we just need to kind of go through the whole process.”

Read Also:

O’Ward was among those that handled a sizable portion of the nearly 32,000 miles logged since November 2022, when the collaboration between Chevrolet and Honda took shape with IndyCar’s hybrid effort.

One element that was unique was the nature of harvesting energy available for deployment, which happened at a rapid rate over the course of a lap around the 2.258-mile, 13-turn natural terrain road course based in Lexington, Ohio.

“Yeah, there's different levels to that, and it's very similar to -- I wouldn't say it's similar to the Formula 1 car, but it's the same kind of idea of, like, the braking generates the energy, it goes into the pack, and then you deploy it where you wish,” O’Ward said.

“Different to us, we have to manually deploy. If you get out of sequence and you have to manually regen, there's limits to how much you can regen and limits to how much you can deploy, so there's a lot of limits that we need to work through.”

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article IndyCar Mid-Ohio: Palou fastest in FP1 as new hybrid era begins
Next article IndyCar Mid-Ohio: O’Ward fastest from Rahal, Herta in FP2

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

USA USA