Nyck de Vries has undergone a precautionary seat fit at McLaren as he is the team’s reserve driver at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix if Lando Norris remains too unwell to drive on Friday.
Norris remained at the team’s hotel with suspected food poisoning on Thursday, with McLaren expecting he will be fit to return to action on Friday. However, de Vries is the team’s reserve driver this weekend as part of the agreement McLaren has to use Mercedes reserves if required, and the Dutchman underwent a seat fitting in team overalls on Thursday.
De Vries — who will join AlphaTauri alongside Yuki Tsunoda next season — has raced for Williams this season at Monza as a late replacement for the ill Alex Albon, while he has also carried out FP1 sessions for Mercedes and Aston Martin, meaning any opportunity to get behind the wheel of the McLaren would mean he has driven for all four Mercedes-powered teams in a calendar year.
At present, RACER understands McLaren is just playing it safe and has no major concerns over Norris’ fitness, but there also remains the scenario that de Vries could qualify on Friday before Norris returned to action on Saturday.
The Sprint schedule means there is an FP2 session that Norris could take part in on Saturday — after Friday’s FP1 and qualifying — and that track time would allow him to start the Sprint itself from the back of the starting grid and also compete in the grand prix.