O’Ward Splits with Red Bull Junior Team as Vips Takes over Super Formula Ride

by Paul Hensby

Patricio O’Ward’s spell as part of the Red Bull Junior Team has come to an end, with the Mexican set to announce his next career move in the coming weeks.

O’Ward began the season in the NTT IndyCar Series and impressed Helmut Marko enough for the Austrian to bring the twenty-year-old into the Red Bull fold, with the Mexican handed a move into the Japanese-based Super Formula championship to replace the ousted Daniel Ticktum at Team Mugen.

He also made a one-off FIA Formula 2 appearance at the Red Bull Ring at MP Motorsport to replace the banned Mahaveer Raghunathan, but O’Ward was given only three races in Super Formula to impress.  He finished fourteenth in his first two races in Fuji Speedway and Twin Ring Motegi but showed better form at the Okayama International Circuit to secure his first points with a sixth place finish.

Estonian Jüri Vips will take over O’Ward’s seat for the season finale at the Suzuka International Racing Course later this month, but the Mexican has nothing but respect and thanks Red Bull for the opportunity to be a part of their young driver programme.

“I want to take this moment to thank Red Bull, Dr. [Helmut] Marko and Team Mugen for the amazing opportunity to race in Japan this year,” O’Ward wrote on his personal Twitter account.

“I’ve got nothing but great things to say about my experience and working with this great group of people. I wish Juri Vips and the team the best of luck closing out this 2019 Super Formula season.

“Soon there will be news about my racing future. I know good things are coming and can’t wait to share them with you all.”

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