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McLaren impressed by Norris at Spa

  • Published on 29 Aug 2018 17:00
  • comments 7
  • By: Fergal Walsh

McLaren says it is very happy with Lando Norris' maiden practice outing after the Briton drove the MCL33 during FP1 at Spa last weekend. The Formula 2 racer ended the session in P18 with a best lap time of 1:47.364, which was faster than Stoffel Vandoorne.

Norris is set to drive the car again this weekend at Monza, taking over Vandoorne's car rather than Fernando Alonso's. Speaking about his run in Belgium last Friday, the team's sporting director Gil de Ferran was impressed by his efforts.

“One thing he certainly has is he adapts himself very quickly to any new situation,” he said. “I've seen that on the tests that he had and the same thing happened here.

“As part of his development, we wanted to bring him into FP1 because of different downforce levels, a lot more cars on the track, a lot of track evolution and wanted to give him that experience. He came up to speed very quickly and did a fine job for us, didn't make any mistakes. He was absolutely fine.”

Norris has been heavily linked with a 2019 race seat at McLaren. The team has already signed up Carlos Sainz, while Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez are also in the frame. De Ferran added that Norris' practice outings are not assessments, but rather a method of developing him as a driver.

"You called it assessment, I call it development. “It's very hard to assess a driver in the strength of one free practice or one session or one qualifying session," the 2003 Indy-500 winner

“I think you need to step back and take a wider view. That's been the same for everyone. I think these free practice sessions are really more about giving Lando exposure and help him along the development plan.”

Replies (7)

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  • Vandoorne: Lets talk like adults! Do I have a seat in 2019?
    McLaren: Lets talk about it after Alonso's retirement.
    Vandoorne: Lets talk like adults! Do I have a seat in 2019?
    McLaren: We are evaluating our options.
    Vandoorne: Lets talk like adults! Do I have a seat in 2019? there are 2 vacant seats.
    McLaren: We want to see how Norris does.
    Vandoorne: Lets talk like adults! Do I have a seat in 2019?
    McLaren: We are impressed by Norris.

    • + 0
    • Aug 29 2018 - 22:10
    • RogerF1

      Posts: 501

      That sounds about right.

      • + 0
      • Aug 29 2018 - 22:40
    • Freguz

      Posts: 160

      Haha!

      Once such a great team...

      I”m surprised that any driver even wants to join them

      • + 0
      • Aug 30 2018 - 04:52
    • Kean

      Posts: 692

      @Freguz That's why I'm surprised by the new Perez rumors. Seems to me that his spot at Force India was all but a done deal, if I was in Perez's shoes I wouldn't consider a McLaren deal given the disarray that team is in. Perhaps in James Key's 2nd year with the team, but not before then.

      • + 0
      • Aug 30 2018 - 10:34
  • Kean

    Posts: 692

    A bit unfair to say that Norris was faster than Vandoorne because Vandoorne had problems with the car. However good to read that Norris seems to adapt well, because nowadays success in F2 doesn't necessarily mean that you're gonna be fast in F1, Vandoorne being the obvious example as well as Palmer.

    • + 0
    • Aug 30 2018 - 10:39
  • deejayves

    Posts: 1

    3 years ago Vandoorne took Mclaren's first championship point in that year when replacing Alonso. They where impressed by Vandoorne at that time as well.

    • + 0
    • Aug 30 2018 - 14:25
    • Major Tom

      Posts: 152

      Yes - but he has hardly ever impressed since then. I think McLaren have been very patient but now its time for a change.

      • + 0
      • Aug 30 2018 - 16:41

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