Lando Norris is remaining open-minded about his options to make the jump up to Formula 1 in the near future, but says a full-time race seat with McLaren remains the "perfect situation" for 2019.

Norris, 18, made his most recent F1 test appearance with McLaren earlier this week in Hungary as he continued his push to secure a race seat with the team for next season with another impressive display.



The British youngster is currently fighting for the Formula 2 title, and is strongly linked with a McLaren seat for next season in place of the struggling Stoffel Vandoorne. Toro Rosso is also understood to be interested in Norris for next season, with McLaren rejecting an approach made earlier this year by the team.

Asked about his plans for 2019, Norris said that while he remained unsure about next year so long as McLaren was waiting on Fernando Alonso's decision on his own future, he would be open to spending another year in F2 with added F1 practice run-outs on his schedule.

"It’s very difficult to say, especially being in the situation we are right now with no-one really knowing what Fernando wants to do next year," Norris said.

"Obviously it’d be very nice to be in Formula 1, but at the same time staying with McLaren, maybe it’s better to be saying: ‘I want to be doing these FP1s, have more opportunities to drive in Formula 1’, if there is confirmation that I might be offered a seat in 2020, maybe that’s a better opportunity and a situation to be in.

"Until everyone starts making decisions, I don’t really know what to say."

Norris added that a programme of FP1 sessions before stepping up in 2020 would aid his adaptation to F1 given the scale of the jump from F2.

"I think in this type of era with Formula 1 it’s not easy to jump in and be quick away, there’s a lot of things, especially compared to Formula 2, which are very tricky to get used to," Norris said.

"I presume for a lot of drivers, even for myself, it takes time. So doing all these FP1s you’re learning a lot more about the car, about the team, which direction they’re going.

"Of course it’d put me in a better situation for 2020 but that’s just one circumstance. Plenty of other things that could happen, I don’t know."

However, Norris confirmed he would be open to racing for a team besides McLaren next year, with Toro Rosso's interest still thought to be strong for next year, identifying Norris as a potential replacement for Brendon Hartley.

"Of course I could see it, I would like to see it, that I could just be in Formula 1. But I don’t think that’s still the way to go," Norris said when asked about alternative teams.

"I think ideally I’d be with McLaren next year. That’s the perfect situation, but it’s not up for me to decide, it’s up to the bosses and Fernando and whoever makes all the decisions.

"I just have to focus on Formula 2, doing the best job I can in that, hopefully winning as that’s the best thing I can do, having good days like today and yesterday just to try and persuade it more my way, but until then I just have to keep my head down."


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