Arrow McLaren SP has confirmed the signings of Pato O’Ward and Oliver Askew to its IndyCar line-up for the 2020 season.

McLaren will enter IndyCar with a full-season programme in 2020 via a partnership with the existing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports operation, which has rebranded as Arrow McLaren SP.

The team will enter two cars to the full IndyCar season that will be driven by O’Ward and Askew, the Indy Lights champions of 2018 and 2019 respectively.

O’Ward joins McLaren following a six-month stint with Red Bull’s junior team that saw him race in Formula 2 and Super Formula, having impressed in his eight IndyCar outings with Carlin earlier in the year.

“I couldn’t be happier to be with Arrow McLaren SP for my first full season in IndyCar. I’ve had some great opportunities over the last year, but this is by far the greatest thing that could possibly happen for my career,” said O’Ward.

“I had a taste of IndyCar earlier this year and cannot wait to represent Arrow McLaren SP in the best way possible for a full season in 2020.”

The Mexican will be joined by Askew, who scored seven wins and finished off the podium just three times en route to the Indy Lights title this year with Andretti Autosport.

“It’s a dream come true to be joining Arrow McLaren SP for my first year in IndyCar. The new team brings together three great partners and it’s an honour to be representing them in this new chapter for the team and for my caree,” said Askew.

“This is an exciting new challenge for me and the next natural step after winning the Indy Lights title this year. I can’t wait to get started.”

“With our background in Indy Lights, I’ve followed Oliver and Pato closely over the last few years on the Road to Indy. I couldn’t think of a better pairing as we write the first chapter in Arrow McLaren SP’s story,” said Arrow McLaren SP co-owner Sam Schmidt.

“They’ve proven their skills on the Road to Indy and with an Indy Lights championship each, they are ready and deserving of full-time seats in IndyCar. I have no doubt that Oliver and Pato are the right drivers to move Arrow McLaren SP forward.”

“As we look to establish Arrow McLaren SP and re-establish McLaren in the world of IndyCar, I’m delighted to be welcoming these two young, homegrown talents to the team,” added Gil De Ferran, Sporting Director of McLaren Racing.

“Oliver and Pato represent the new generation of IndyCar drivers. Proven winners and exciting prospects, I have no doubt that they will form an excellent pairing as we take on the 2020 season.

“Both drivers were super-impressive in Indy Lights, racking up 16 wins between them over the last two seasons. We have taken time and care to make a driver selection that we believe is in the best long-term interests of Arrow McLaren SP.”

Confirmation of McLaren’s line-up also marks the departure of James Hinchcliffe from the team after five seasons.

Hinchcliffe scored three wins with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and pole position for the Indianapolis 500 in 2016, and had one year remaining on his contract with the team.

 

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