Norris joins McLaren’s junior programme


Highly-rated talent Lando Norris has been announced as the latest driver to join McLaren's Young Driver Programme.

The 2016 winner of the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC and Toyota Racing Series, who turned 17 last November, will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Stoffel Vandoorne who also went through the same programme.

"It’s definitely a step towards my dream of being in Formula 1," Norris said.

"The facilities at McLaren are fantastic.

"I’ll be using the same simulator, the same gym, as some of the greatest F1 drivers in recent years. 

"The team also has a lot of data that will be really valuable for me to compare myself with other drivers who have come through.

"I’ll know what level I need to be at to drive in F1 – so if that chance comes, I’ll be fit and ready to jump in straight away."

McLaren executive director Zak Brown is delighted with the signing and holds Norris in high regard.

"I regard Lando as a fabulous prospect," said Brown.

"He blew the doors off his rivals in not one but three highly competitive race series last year, then capped that by establishing himself as the clear winner of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.

"It was an impressively mature performance, and we'll be developing him this year as part of our simulator team, whereby he'll be contributing directly and importantly to our Formula 1 campaign at the same time as honing and improving his technical feedback capabilities."

Honda junior Nobuharu Matsushita and McLaren protege Nyck de Vries have also been announced as part of the programme.