Lando Norris willing to be patient over F1 race debut

Lando Norris says he is open-minded about his future though explained that graduating to a McLaren seat for 2019 remains his “perfect situation”.

Norris joined McLaren’s young driver scheme last year and swept to the Formula 3 title, before stepping up to Formula 2 this season.

Norris has had a mixed campaign, scoring just one win at the Bahrain season-opener, and has yet to take a pole position, but holds second in the standings, a mere 12 points behind George Russell.

The British youngster suggested he would be willing to wait until 2020 should an opportunity arise, hinting that a programme of FP1s in 2019 could be more feasible.

“It’s very difficult to say,” said Norris on his future. “Especially being in the situation we are right now with no-one really knowing what Fernando [Alonso] wants to do next year.

“Obviously it’d be very nice to be in Formula 1, but at the same time staying with McLaren maybe it’s better to be saying ‘I want to be doing these FP1s, have more opportunities to drive in Formula 1’, if there is confirmation that I might be offered a seat in 2020, maybe that’s a better opportunity and a situation to be in.

“Until, yeah, everyone starts making decisions I don’t really know what to say.”

Norris has been linked with a move to Toro Rosso as a replacement for Brendon Hartley, with rumours suggesting such a change could facilitate James Key’s earlier arrival at Woking.

When asked whether he could envisage stepping up at another team before re-joining McLaren, Norris replied: “Of course I could see it, I would like to see it, that I could just be in Formula 1.

“But I don’t think that’s still the way to go.

“I think ideally I’d be with McLaren next year, that’s the perfect situation, but it’s not up for me to decide, it’s up to the bosses and Fernando and whoever makes all the decisions.

“I just have to focus on Formula 2, doing the best job I can in that, hopefully winning as that’s the best thing I can do.”