The McLaren F1 Team has confirmed that it will keep Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris as its two drivers for the 2020 Formula 1 season, ahead of the British Grand Prix.
Both drivers currently sit in the top 10 of the Drivers’ Championship in their first year with the team, helping McLaren to occupy a healthy fourth place in the Constructors’ standings with 52 points after nine races.
Norris graduated from the FIA Formula 2 championship and McLaren’s junior programme at the end of 2018, while Sainz Jr. joined from the Renault F1 Team at the end of his loan spell away from the Red Bull programme.
McLaren has enjoyed a huge improvement in performance in 2019 after a difficult period with Honda from 2015 to ’17 and a troublesome start to its time as a Renault customer in ’18.
New team principal Andreas Seidl said that the announcement will help gather stability in the team’s progression, and praised Norris and Sainz Jr. for their part in a solid first half of the season.
“Today’s announcement provides the team with the continuity to keep pushing forward,” Seidl said. “The performance of both Carlos and Lando have been a key part of the team’s progress.
“Their feedback has enabled our engineers to develop the MCL34 and look ahead to the MCL35. Carlos has played a key role in developing the car using his experience, while Lando has got up to speed with the demands of Formula 1 incredibly quickly and is growing in confidence every weekend.
“This is welcome news for the whole McLaren team and we look forward to continuing our partnership together.”
Norris and Sainz Jr. enjoy a healthy relationship as team-mates, something that McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown believes is vital for McLaren’s image and recovery to the forefront of F1.
The decision comes just days after McLaren announced that former driver Fernando Alonso will play no further part in the team’s 2019 F1 testing programme, but will continue to act as a brand ambassador.
“I’m delighted we’re able to announce our 2020 driver line-up ahead of the team’s home race at the British Grand Prix this weekend,” said Brown.
“Both Carlos and Lando are proving themselves as racers and are integral to our path to recovery.
“They have made a real contribution to the positive momentum and morale within the team, both at the track and back at the factory.
“The reception they’ve received from our fans has been outstanding and they are superb ambassadors for the McLaren brand, personifying our Fearlessly Forward mentality.”