Lando Norris will take up the role of McLaren's official reserve and test driver in Formula 1 for the 2018 season, taking over from 2009 world champion Jenson Button.

Norris, 17, joined McLaren's young driver programme for the 2017 season, balancing his commitments with the team with a full-season campaign in the FIA European Formula 3 championship, where he clinched the title in his rookie year.

Norris is set to move up to Formula 2 for 2018, but will combine his racing duties with an official reserve role at McLaren following a successful maiden F1 test earlier this year in Hungary.

“I’m so excited to be joining McLaren as test and reserve driver for 2018. The last 12 months have been an incredible journey for me – I’ve enjoyed every single minute – and this is just an amazing way to bring the year to an end," Norris said.

“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 [Alonso] and Stoffel [Vandoorne], 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. I hope to be able to announce something shortly."

McLaren executive director Zak Brown added: "Lando is an outstanding young talent. Today’s announcement is thoroughly deserved, and underlines the incredible high regard in which we hold his abilities.

"By winning last year in Formula Renault, triumphing in the McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award, and then showing the speed and consistency needed to win the European F3 championship, 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."


Loading Comments...