MCLAREN'S NEW BOY
At the tender age of just 19 years, Lando Norris has secured the number 2 driver seat for Mclaren's 2019 season ahead of already established driver Stoffel Vandoorne. With the two times world champion Fernando Alonzo having left the team Zac Brown, Mclaren's boss sees a unique talent in the young man and hopes along with his fellow teammate Carlos Sainz Mclaren can build on its young and progressive team.
Here we take a look his rise to F1.
A stellar rise through the karting ranks followed by an outstanding first couple of seasons racing in junior single-seater championships have placed Lando Norris firmly on the motorsport map.
A gifted karter, he remains the youngest driver to ever set a pole position at a national meeting, won the Super One Series’ ‘O’ Plate in 2010, then in 2012 he became Formula Kart Stars champion and runner-up in the MSA Super One British Championship.
A year later, he won titles in the CIK-FIA KFJ European, CIK-FIA KFJ Super Cup, WSK Euro Series KFJ, CIK-FIA International Super Cup and World Karting Championship. In addition, he became WSK Masters Series vice-champion and made history by becoming the youngest karting world championship winner, taking the CIK-FIA KF World Championship title at the age of 14, an accolade previously held by triple world champion Lewis Hamilton.
His graduation to single-seaters has only underlined that initial promise. In 2016, he won a slew of single-seater championships – Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and the the Toyota Racing Series Championship in New Zealand.
He then crowned his season with perhaps the most prestigious award presented to any promising young racing driver – the coveted McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver Award, which was presented to him at the Autosport Awards, in December 2016.
For 2017, Lando contested the European Formula 3 championship, eventually winning the title in October - all while dovetailing his racing activities with a fully fledged role as a test and simulator driver for the McLaren Honda Formula 1 team.
Following his success in F3 Lando became the official test and reserve driver for McLaren in 2018, as well as making his debut in F2 with Carlin Racing. It was to be a busy and productive year for the teenager. He began it by contesting the Daytona 24 Hours with United Autosports, gaining valuable experience in a line-up that included Fernando Alonso.
His F2 season got off to a superb start when he won the opening feature race in Bahrain, and thereafter he was a regular frontrunner, fighting for the title with fellow Briton George Russell.
His progression towards an F1 seat continued when he enjoyed productive FP1 outings in Belgium and Italy, and in September it was announced that he would partner Carlos Sainz at McLaren in 2018.
Five further FP1 outings added to his growing F1 knowledge, and enabled him to ramp up his preparation for his new challenge. He then finished a remarkable year in Abu Dhabi by securing runner-up spot in the F2 series, shortly after his 19th birthday.
Lando can be found on Twitter: @LandoNorris