Norris to replace Vandoorne at McLaren in 2019
Lando Norris will make his Formula 1 debut for McLaren next season, the Woking-based team announced on Monday.
The Formula 2 front runner has impressed the team with his recent runs in free practice sessions and has won the battle to become Carlos Sainz’s teammate.
The announcement about his plans comes shortly after McLaren revealed that it is not retaining Stoffel Vandoorne for 2019.
Norris has been part of the McLaren young driver programme since 2017, having won a host of junior categories in his career including last year's European F3 title. He is currently battling with Mercedes junior George Russell for the F2 title.
Speaking about his promotion, Norris said: “To be announced as a race driver for McLaren is a dream come true. Although I’ve been part of the team for a while now, this is a special moment, one I could only hope would become reality.
“I’d like to thank the whole team for this amazing opportunity and for believing in me. I’m also extremely grateful for the commitment McLaren has already shown in my development, allowing me to build my experience in a Formula 1 car in both testing and on Fridays during the past two race weekends.”
McLaren CEO Zak Brown added: “We believe Lando is an exciting talent, full of potential, who we’ve very deliberately kept within the McLaren fold for exactly that reason.
“Lando is an integral part of our plan for rebuilding our Formula 1 operation for the future, and he has already developed a strong relationship with the team.
“In Lando and Carlos we have an impressive duo who, despite their relative youth, hold valuable experience in Formula 1 and with McLaren, and represent the next generation of McLaren drivers to lead the team forward.
"While our short-term focus is fixed on securing the best possible result for the remainder of the 2018 season, we’re also massively motivated by the opportunities that lie ahead.”
2019 F1 line-up so far:
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