McLaren’s chief executive officer Zak Brown has explained the team’s process behind promoting Lando Norris for his Formula 1 debut in 2019.

Norris will replace Stoffel Vandoorne in McLaren’s driver line-up from next season, making him the youngest British F1 driver in history, to continue his remarkable rise which has drawn comparison to Lewis Hamilton’s route to F1.

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Brown feels Norris meets all requirements from outright speed impressing in his climb up the junior ranks to commercial interest he can provide to the team alongside Carlos Sainz Jr who has already been announced as Fernando Alonso's replacement for next year.

“When you take a decision there’s a variety of boxes you want that driver to tick,” Brown said. “Speed, racecraft, likeability – commercially exciting is certainly in there but we would never take someone who is commercially exciting but can’t get it done on track.

“Ideally you get someone who can tick all the boxes and Lando does. What we need to do is manage him carefully, that we don’t get ahead of ourselves with comparisons to other drivers.”

With Brown seeing McLaren in ‘rebuilding mode’ following its overhaul of technical heads this year after struggling to meet expectations on his switch from Honda to Renault power, the team boss also feels Norris is the ideal driver to help build the team to its long-term plans even if the promotion has comer earlier than anticipated.

“We are in a rebuilding mode, to have two extremely quick drivers, one with a decent amount of experience going into his fifth year, along with someone who is inexperienced,” he said. “It is a good combination for us when we look over a five-year horizon.

“For all those reasons we easily came to the conclusion that Lando was the driver we wanted and it was just about going through the due diligence process and having them pass all those tests along the way to confirm what our instinct was. Quite frankly when we brought him on a couple of years ago we thought this day would come.”

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