British teenager Lando Norris has been signed up by Formula One giants McLaren.
Norris, who turned 17 in November, has been announced as part of the British team’s young driver academy, with a view to him forging a career in the sport.
Born in Bristol and boasting an impressive resume in the junior categories, he will compete in the European Formula Three series this season alongside his McLaren duties.
“I regard Lando as a fabulous prospect,” said McLaren’s new executive director Zak Brown. “He blew the doors off his rivals in not one but three highly competitive race series last year.
“We’ll be developing him this year as part of our simulator team, whereby he’ll be contributing directly and importantly to our Formula One campaign at the same time as honing and improving his technical feedback capabilities.”
Norris will follow in the footsteps of Lewis Hamilton, the triple world champion, who joined McLaren when he was 13.
“It’s definitely a step towards my dream of being in F1,” Norris said. “The facilities at McLaren are fantastic. I’ll be using the same simulator, the same gym, as some of the greatest F1 drivers in recent years.
“The team also has a lot of data that will be really valuable for me to compare myself with other drivers who have come through.
“I’ll know what level I need to be at to drive in F1. If that chance comes, I’ll be fit and ready to jump in straight away.”
Double world champion Fernando Alonso will be joined by Belgian’s Stoffel Vandoorne at McLaren this season.
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