“Man, I’m so proud of the team and proud of myself,” O’Ward expressed. “We did everything to get it done and we had a massive run on him. We had no wicker [on the rear wing], less downforce and still not enough speed to get by him, even with a massive run. It’s frustrating, it’s bitter-sweet. I’m so proud, but it definitely stings. I feel like the team and I did everything perfectly to get it done and something out of our control was why we’ve struggled in the end.
“I feel like I drove a race to position us there. It’s just a bummer we didn’t have more. We have work to do and we’ll come back next year, with a faster and better race car and go at it again.”
In the circumstances, nicely handled, son.
On the other side of the Atlantic a few hours earlier, Daniel Ricciardo had driven another underwhelming race to finish the Monaco Grand Prix a pointless 13th, as his once-stellar career unfathomably continues to plummet. Drivers rarely pull out of such a tailspin, especially one that is so brutal and hard to understand, for Ricciardo as much as anyone. Expectations are rising as quickly as he is falling that McLaren must find a replacement. So perhaps O’Ward won’t be returning to Indy next year after all for another crack at a race he’s now finished in sixth in 2020, fourth in 2021 and second this time around.