Lando Norris to make F1 race weekend debut in Belgian GP P1

Paola Ditto
Agosto 22, 2018

McLaren reserve driver Lando Norris will make his Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend debut during the opening practice session in Belgium on Friday.

The 18-year-old is regarded as one of single-seater racing's most talented youngsters after winning the European F3 title last year and he now sits second in the F2 drivers' standings: Mercedes' young driver George Russell leads the series.

Norris is a contender for the vacant 2019 McLaren seat next to newly-signed Carlos Sainz Jr., the Renault driver having been recruited to replace the outgoing Fernando Alonso.

Could Norris be part of the F1 2019 grid?

Of McLaren's 52 points, 44 have been scored by Alonso.

Friday's practice session will also be a useful comparison with Vandoorne, who arrived in F1 after a dominant F2 campaign but has so far failed to live up to his promise.

Norris joined McLaren's young driver scheme at the start of 2017 and this year stepped up to the role of reserve driver, making selected test outings, most recently at the post-race gathering in Hungary.

"This weekend will be the first time that our reserve driver Lando will drive the MCL33 during a race weekend, as he steps into Fernando's vehicle for FP1 on Friday", said sporting director Gil de Ferran.

"We'll be taking a strategic view race-by-race at where else this might be beneficial for us over the coming Grands Prix".

That decision may also be influenced by Alonso's long-term plans. "It could take a while but they can find a way to be great again", he said. I think that's the right option to do. "It'll be my first time in a McLaren on a @F1 race weekend and there's no better place to do it than Spa".

"Every driver in the world would love to be in a winning vehicle in F1".

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