Pato O’Ward says the differences in working practices in Formula 1 and IndyCar take a lot of time to adjust to and should not be underestimated.

The Arrow McLaren star has taken part in a number of tests in F1 machinery and most recently ran in FP1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as well as the post-race test. While trying to work his way towards a potential future seat in F1, and having seen comments that Logan Sargeant’s status in the United States is impacted by his pathway through European racing

, O’Ward says the differences in the two single-seater series are stark but results will always speak loudest.

“It takes time to adjust to the different way of working and the different atmosphere in a Formula 1 paddock,” O’Ward tells RACER. “The atmosphere in a Formula 1 paddock compared to an IndyCar paddock is so different. It is definitely a lot more business-oriented in Formula 1, and IndyCar to me right now definitely is what home is.

“IndyCar is my home and coming to the Formula 1 weekends I sometimes still feel a bit like an outsider. Which has been getting better as I learn more and as I just put myself into situations that I’ve never been before, but it takes time — it doesn’t happen from one day to another.

“So it definitely takes time to adjust to, but I don’t agree that because wasn’t in the American ranks he’s not well known. All these other guys also grew up in Europe but they’re very well known in America. I don’t think it matters if your upbringing was in America.

“To be fairly honest with you, a lot of Americans have no idea what IndyCar is. So I really don’t think it makes a difference. I think it usually speaks to results. I guarantee you, as soon as he starts laying down some really strong results that recognition is going to go from what it is now to multiple by 50 overnight.

“I think it has nothing to do with, ‘Oh he wasn’t in America’ — that is definitely not accurate at all.”

O’Ward feels he is moving closer to a potential F1 chance with each test, but appreciates that he has a lot to learn and improve on to be able to make a successful transition from IndyCar to F1 racer.

“It fuels my motivation,” he said. “It’s more of an opportunity rather than a gift, because opportunities you need to take advantage of, gifts you just enjoy. No matter how enjoyable it is to drive a Formula 1 car, there’s a lot of work that I’ve put in and a lot of work that I’m still going to have to put in to be at the level I have to be, in such a different atmosphere than what I’m used to.

“It’s going to take work, that is definitely not something that’s hidden, but I see myself here. I really want to push and want to be here. I have a lot of aspirations in IndyCar that I want to complete, but I’d love a challenge in F1 because I know I’m capable of being here and I know I’m capable of being what I am in IndyCar over here in Formula 1 — consistently being a contender and being one of the guys.

“But it’s not going to come with just night and day — it’s going to take a lot of work. Just feeling like what IndyCar currently feels like, which is just second nature, there’s still a lot of learning that I have to do.”