Lando Norris is set to make his Formula 1 debut next year, partnering Carlos Sainz at McLaren as part of a multi-year agreement with the team. Currently a Test and Reserve Driver for McLaren, Norris will be replacing Stoffel Vandoorne at the team.
The 18-year-old has been part of the McLaren Young Driver Programme since early 2017 and currently sits second in the 2018 FIA Formula 2 standings, having won on his Formula 2 debut from pole position.
“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,” said Norris.
Commenting on the team’s decision to sign Norris, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said: “We’re very pleased to finally be able to reveal who will complete our driver line-up at McLaren for 2019. We believe Lando is an exciting talent, full of potential, who we’ve very deliberately kept within the McLaren fold for exactly that reason.”
Elaborating on this new development keeping in mind McLaren’s future strategy, Brown said: “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.”
Sainz and Norris represent an all-new line-up for McLaren after Fernando Alonso's decision not to race in F1 next season and Vandoorne's departure.