Lando Norris to partner Carlos Sainz at McLaren for 2019
McLaren have confirmed that Formula 2 youngster Lando Norris will race for the team in 2019, replacing the recently axed Stoffel Vandoorne.
Norris, who currently sits second in the F2 championship behind the Mercedes-backed George Russell, will partner Carlos Sainz in an all-new line-up next season with the Spaniard replacing fellow countryman Fernando Alonso, who recently announced his retirement from Formula 1.
The 18-year-old currently holds the role of test and reserve driver with the British team and has been on their young driver programme since early 2017. He has also taken part in two free practice sessions this season as well as young driver tests and Pirelli tyre tests.
"We’re very pleased to finally be able to reveal who will complete our driver line-up at McLaren for 2019," commented team boss Zak Brown.
"We believe Lando is an exciting talent, full of potential, who we’ve very deliberately kept within the McLaren fold for exactly that reason.
"We already know he’s fast, he learns quickly, and has a mature head on his young shoulders. We see much potential for our future together. The investment we have made in his budding career with simulator development and seat-time in the car has been well-deserved, as he has continued to prove his abilities both behind the wheel and in his work with the engineering team.
"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."