Norris named as Mclaren reserve driver

Mclaren has announced Lando Norris as its test and reserve driver for 2018 replacing 2009 champion Jenson Button.

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The 17-year-old European Formula 3 champion joined the Mclaren young driver programme this year and drove in the post-Hungary test and won the 2016 Mclaren Autosport BDRC young driver of the year.

“The last 12 months have been an incredible journey for me,” said Norris.

“I’ve enjoyed every single minute – and this is just an amazing way to bring the year to an end.

“I’m really looking forward to helping the team, starting next week with the tyre test at Interlagos and I will work harder than ever to learn and develop across the next year.

“I have two excellent teachers in Fernando and Stoffel, and I will do my best to help with the team’s efforts to get back to the front.

“I’m still working hard to finalise my own racing programme for 2018 – we’re close on a number of different fronts, but not quite there yet.”

Although it is not known what series Norris will race in next year, he said it will likely be either F2 or Super Formula like Stoffel Vandoorne and Pierre Gasly have done before.

Mclaren chief executive Zac Brown said:

“He is undoubtedly carving himself a reputation as one of the very best up-and-coming single-seater drivers in the world.

“His summer test for McLaren was also remarkably impressive and was further proof that he is ready to step up and take on a role of this size, scope and responsibility.

“At McLaren, we are all extremely keen to help him achieve his goal of racing in Formula 1.”

Racing director Eric Boulier said:

“Lando is somebody who arrives with a very high level of ability, ambition and application.

“It is our job to develop and fine-tune his focus as we increase his understanding of how a Formula 1 team operates and how a modern grand prix car works.

“There will be plenty of opportunity to observe, learn and participate throughout 2018, and we want to make sure Lando is fully prepared, if needed, to step into Fernando or Stoffel’s shoes at a moment’s notice.”

 

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