Watch Pato O'Ward Slide a 1969 McLaren Formula 1 Car

pato o'ward 1969 mclaren mc7 formula 1 car velocity invitational
Watch Pato O'Ward Slide a 1969 McLaren F1 CarMarshall Pruett / YouTube

As a McLaren IndyCar driver, Pato O'Ward's job comes with a few perks. Not only does the team give him cars quick enough for 20 podiums in the past four seasons and a handful of runs in a modern F1 car, O'Ward has also been able to try his hand in a number of vintage Formula 1 cars over the past two years. Last year, he got his shot in a Senna-run MP4/5B at Laguna Seca. This year, he returned to the now-annual Velocity Invitational to run a few laps in a 1969 McLaren MC7.

At the twisting and hilly Sonoma Raceway, a video shared by Road & Track contributor Marshall Pruett shows that the vintage McLaren is a handful. The late-60s racer is much simpler than the mid-80s car O'Ward ran last year, with far more body roll and far less downforce available to the driver. The result is a car that seems to rotate a little too freely for its own good, leaving O'Ward to catch a few slide.

In just his second entry into the track's uphill turn 2, he even finds himself countersteering away from the right-handed corner's apex on his way in. Fortunately for McLaren, O'Ward has a well-earned reputation for quick reactions and quicker hands. Just as he so often does in an IndyCar, O'Ward simply kept the car in line and carried on through the corner.

In addition to the 1969 car, McLaren also brought cars run by James Hunt, Ayrton Senna, and Lewis Hamilton to this year's event. All four received a demo run at the hands of a McLaren IndyCar driver.

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