Lando Norris’s F1 future dependent on Alonso plans


Lando Norris - McLaren
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

McLaren F1 Team prospect Lando Norris believes his future in Formula 1 and the timing of his debut with the Woking team hinges on how long Fernando Alonso stays in a McLaren seat.

Last year it was announced that the reigning FIA European Formula 3 champion was to adopt the role of reserve driver, behind star men Stoffel Vandoorne and Alonso. Norris will also partake in the 2018 FIA Formula 2 championship with Carlin Motorsport, a team he has worked and progressed with since his days in MSA Formula.

When quizzed about his dependence on Alonso’s retirement or move away, Norris said that he is inclined to think that the Spaniard’s short-term future is pivotal to him.

“I would say so, but I couldn’t really say what they are thinking.” he said in an interview to Motorsport.com.

“I guess you have to wait for what Fernando wants to do and I think they are happy with Stoffel [Vandoorne] and it is quite early in his career.

“Obviously he can develop a lot and definitely improve as a driver going into 2018.

“I can’t really say what else is going to happen – it is a bit hard for me.”

Norris raced alongside Alonso at last month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona for McLaren Technology Group executive director Zak Brown‘s team, United Autosports in the LMP2 category.

If Alonso’s seat at McLaren does not vacate, the 18-year-old did admit that he may be forced to look elsewhere for his F1 breakthrough. However, Norris emphasised his desire to keep his future with McLaren.

“My aim is to be at McLaren,” he stated. “If I can’t get a drive here, then I have to look at other opportunities.

“If they say ‘We’re not really going to have a drive [free] for three years’ or something, then it is obvious that I am going to have to go elsewhere.

“But if it is just one year, I think I’ll deal with one year out. The aim is to be with McLaren.”