Lando Norris will make his first appearance in a Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend as he’ll take part in Free Practice 1, standing in for Fernando Alonso at the Mclaren F1 Team.
Norris contended in the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test with the team before the summer break, impressing for his pace and consistency.
The young British driver will stand in for Alonso, who announced in the summer that he will not race in F1 next year as he felt the sport has become “too predictable”.
Formula 1 will head to Spa-Francorchamps this weekend, a legendary circuit with history of racing and for the McLaren team, home of their first win.
McLaren’s sporting director Gil de Ferran says that this weekend will be a significant one for the team to pay tribute to their founder and at a legendary track at Spa-Francorchamps, as well as paying tribute to 50 years since their first win at Monza the following weekend.
“The Belgian Grand Prix is a significant one for McLaren for a number of reasons. It’s a legendary track on the calendar and one where we’ve had a great history,” said de Ferran.
“Next weekend we’ll be celebrating a very special milestone – the 50th anniversary of our first win, by Bruce McLaren back in 1968, and we’ll all be wearing special t-shirts to mark the occasion on Sunday.”
Norris will pack a busy schedule that weekend as he’ll be on FIA Formula 2 duty the same weekend, as he aims to close down championship leader George Russell with four rounds to go.
The eighteen-year old is considered to be one of the drivers to take the McLaren seat next year, battling with Stoffel Vandoorne and Esteban Ocon to be a team-mate with Carlos Sainz Jr. next year.
De Ferran says that him taking part in practice is to evaluate the evolution performance of the MCL33 and not just part of his development.
“Secondly, this weekend will be the first time that our reserve driver Lando will drive the MCL33 during a race weekend, as he steps into Fernando’s car for FP1 on Friday.
“This is not only part of his ongoing development, but also the evaluation and performance evolution of the car. We’ll be taking a strategic view race-by-race at where else this might be beneficial for us over the coming grands prix.”
As the sport ends it’s summer break, McLaren will be aiming to get points in front of Vandoorne’s home crowd this weekend as de Ferran says that Spa is a racer’s circuit with a deserved reputation.
“Spa-Francorchamps has a well-deserved reputation as a racers’ circuit due to its historic significance and popularity among the drivers.
“We’ll be head down and pushing hard as usual to aim for points for both cars in front of our Belgian fans at Stoffel’s home race.”