Lando Norris believes he has taken "a bit of a risk" joining Carlin for his debut season in Formula 2 as the team returns to the series after one year away.

McLaren Formula 1 youngster Norris has spent much of his junior racing career with Carlin, winning the European Formula 3 title with the British outfit last year, and will once again race in its colours for his first year in F2 in 2018.

Carlin exited the category - back when it was known as GP2 - at the end of 2016, but will return this year with the introduction of the all-new F2 car.

Asked about the added pressure of trying to emulate 2017 F2 champion and recently-appointed Sauber F1 driver Charles Leclerc following his rookie title win, Norris said that while he wants to prove himself, he may not have it as straightforward as the Monegasque driver did.

"It’s hard to say because it’s a different year, and things change. It’s a whole new car," Norris said.

"He’s a very good driver, so if I wanted to show that I can do just as well, then that’s what I need to try and do. I need to try and be winning from the back and everything. Sometimes he’s been lucky with safety cars and whatever, but he’s still outdriven everyone in the field by quite a long way.

"I need to make sure that when I go into Formula 2, I might not be able to win by the margins and win as much as he has. I haven’t gone with Prema, who have been quite a long way ahead - maybe not a massive way ahead - but some tracks they’ve definitely been a good step ahead of the other teams."

Despite being out of the series for one year, Norris is confident he can deliver if Carlin gives him the car to perform with, but is uneasy about making any firm predictions until his first weekend is complete.

"Going with Carlin, I think is a bit of a risk, but I know that they can work hard enough to overcome all of that," Norris said.

"Then they can give me the car in which I’m capable of doing what Charles has done, racing through and making my tyres last better and being faster than them in qualifying.

"Again, it’s hard to say until I actually get to the first qualifying session we do. Then I’ll know what to expect from the other drivers and the other teams.

"I think I would like to do what [Leclerc] has done, but I think he has had an extremely good season, like I’ve had last year or in Formula Renault or Formula 4.

"I’ll just try and do what I’ve done in the last few years and see how it goes."

 

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