For the next few weeks, as we await the return of racing, Motorsport Week is delving into the archives to search out the first time that our grid of 2020 F1 racers stepped into top-level machinery in a public forum.
Twitch star Lando Norris has a side-career as a Formula 1 driver and last year made his full-time debut in the championship, impressing onlookers in how he settled into the sport.
He was the youngest driver in history to represent Britain, McLaren’s youngest racer, and indeed only Max Verstappen and Lance Stroll started a Formula 1 race as a younger age.
But even by the time of his debut Norris had extensive experience – relatively speaking – in Formula 1 machinery.
Norris joined McLaren’s young driver programme at the start of 2017 and quickly emerged as a title contender in Formula 3.
When Formula 1 stayed on in Hungary, prior to the summer break, McLaren handed Norris an opportunity to drive its Honda-powered MCL32.
Norris completed 91 laps of the Hungaroring and impressed with his speed and aptitude, earning another run post-season in Abu Dhabi, which led to a 2018 reserve driver role.
More outings followed in 2018 and McLaren acted to reject a mid-season request for his services from Red Bull, having identified him as a better option than the struggling Brendon Hartley.
An FP1 debut for McLaren in Belgium signalled that Norris was on the radar for 2019 and less than a week later he was confirmed as a race driver for the following campaign.