Lando Norris says he’s confident he could step up to the task if McLaren needed him in Formula 1 in 2018 having been appointed third and reserve driver in support of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.

The British driver secured the European Formula 3 title in his rookie season this year and will graduate to F1 support series Formula 2 in 2018 with Carlin alongside his McLaren duties.

Having been added to McLaren’s junior driver programme at the start of 2017, Norris has jumped the queue to become its F1 reserve and third driver with the departure of Jenson Button, in effect making him next in line if Vandoorne or Alonso were unable to race next season.

Norris has enjoyed two days of F1 testing with McLaren, a day each in the MCL32 during the Hungary and Abu Dhabi tests, and feels despite his limited experience he is ready to be called upon by the Woking-based team.

“I really enjoyed the Hungary test, it was the first time I’ve got to drive a Formula 1 car,” Norris said. “It was a big step up from Formula 3, of course, so it took me a bit of time to get used to. But the adrenaline and the rush you get from driving in Formula 1 is huge. I enjoyed it a lot.

“Of course it’s difficult to say after just doing two test days in Formula 1, but they both went very well. I did what I had to, and gave me some more confidence to know that if I did have to go into a race next season, it might not be quite as good as Fernando, but I would say I’m not too far off.

“Joining McLaren didn’t add a lot of pressure but of course you want to make sure you can impress them. I don’t think there’s a better way than to win the championship in my rookie year as well.”

Norris is also relishing his rookie F2 campaign in 2018 with Carlin and having enjoyed his maiden test with the new specification cars in the series which includes the new Halo cockpit protection device.

“I don’t think there’s going to be huge changes,” he said. “I think for one we have a Halo. I think the tyres affect the car the most are the same. From my experience of Abu Dhabi, it was pretty tricky to nail the tyres basically. You’ve got to get on top of them and maximise them within such a short amount of time of practice. It was difficult, but I really learned a lot for next season.”

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