Rising star Lando Norris joins McLaren Young Driver program

Lando Norris seen celebrating a race win during the 2016 BRDC F3 Championship. (Photo: LAT Photographic)
Jakob Ebrey/www.jakobebrey.com

Promising Briton Lando Norris has joined the McLaren Young Driver program, in effect taking the spot vacated by Stoffel Vandoorne.

Norris won the 2016 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award prize, having won the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC and Toyota Racing Series titles.

He joins Honda protégé Nobuharu Matsushita and Dutchman Nyck de Vries on the scheme, while Oliver Turvey continues as test and development driver.

“New to us this year is Lando, with whom I’ve been working for some time,” said McLaren executive director Zak Brown. “I regard Lando as a fabulous prospect – 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 One campaign at the same time as honing and improving his technical feedback capabilities.”

Eric Boullier added: “It’s a grand testament to the success of our Program that first Kevin [Magnussen] and now Stoffel [Vandoorne] have succeeded in their ambitions to become Grand Prix drivers. And, although the Program is a relatively recent creation, in truth we’ve been nurturing and developing the careers of up-and-coming drivers for many decades.”