McLaren announced that its protege Lando Norris will make his FIA Formula 2 Championship debut by contesting the final event of 2017 for Campos Racing at Abu Dhabi later this month.
McLaren’s official Formula 1 test and reserve driver for 2018 will use the one-off drive with the Spanish team to gain valuable experience of the category in advance of a likely full season in 2018. Norris, who became the youngest ever winner of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship with Carlin Racing last month, will therefore drive F1, F2 and F3 cars in 10 days. He’ll drive McLaren’s F1 car at a Pirelli tire test in Brazil on Tuesday an F3 at Macau next weekend for Carlin and then F2 at the Yas Marina Circuit.
“Having won the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at my first attempt this year, I will either step up to Formula 2 or Super Formula in 2018 towards my goal of one day racing in Formula 1,” said Norris. “To get the opportunity to contest the last two races of this year’s F2 season is therefore a bonus whichever category I ultimately choose. It’ll be the first time I’ve ever competed in a race that includes a compulsory pit-stop and so this will also be a new experience for me.
“I’ll be signing off from F3 this weekend and having won the Euro F3 title at my first attempt this year, it would be great to go back to Macau and win – it would be an awesome end to what’s already been an amazing year. But it’ll be tough as in addition to the high-class field and the nature of the uncompromising track, I’m missing practice which isn’t ideal but Macau is a race I really want to go back and do with the Carlin guys – even with that disadvantage.
“It’s a race everyone looks forward to and it’s an incredible track. I slid wide and touched the barriers in the qualification race last year and so I definitely know that there is no room for errors, you need to be inch perfect. I’m much more confident heading there this time, the team has improved, and we’ve performed very well this year on street tracks like Pau which bodes well. I can’t wait to get there.”