McLaren F1 Name the Likely Replacement of Lando Norris In Case of Race Ban

Published 07/11/2021, 9:40 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris during the race REUTERS/Lisi Niesner


McLaren driver Lando Norris put in a sensational performance at the Austrian Grand Prix to finish third in the race. He started the race at the front row of the grid, and while defending his P2 from Red Bull’s Checo Perez, the young Brit pushed the Mexican off the track at the end of Turn 4.

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The incident was investigated, and the stewards gave Norris a five-second penalty. Moreover, he was also awarded two penalty points on his driving license. That brought his points up to 10, which means he is just two points away from getting a race ban.

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 4, 2021, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, and McLaren’s Lando Norris celebrate first and third place on the podium with Honda F1’s Technical Director Toyoharu Tanabe REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

Even though the Briton’s penalty points will come down to eight by the time the paddock reaches Silverstone, the situation has left McLaren in a fix. So, team principal Andreas Seidl has named former McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne as a likely replacement for Norris if he gets a race ban.

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WATCH STORY: F1 Drivers Fighting on Track

We have an agreement with Mercedes regarding reserve drivers: Andreas Seidl

In an interview with RTL, the McLaren team boss gave his opinion on the incident involving Checo and Norris at the Austrian Grand Prix. He also expressed his concern that he might lose his star driver because of a race ban.

“It is not reassuring. There is a fundamental risk,” said Seidl about Norris being on thin ice.

“It cannot be in the sense of Formula 1 that a driver would have to suspend a race for such an incident “

SPA, BELGIUM – August 24: Stoffel Vandoorne of Belgium and McLaren Honda walks in the Paddock during previews ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 24, 2017, in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Seidl concluded, McLaren have an agreement with Mercedes regarding their reserve drivers.” The report further states, “with his ‘first choice’ being former McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne.”

The Belgian had raced for McLaren in 2016 and 2017, bagging seven top-10 results and 25 points.

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Can Mclaren continue to challenge Mercedes?

The Woking-based team and Norris were able to out-qualify the Mercedes in Austria. And they also finished ahead of Hamilton in the race to take the final podium place.

But Mclaren are assured that their performance was likely to be track dependant. They know that there is still a pace deficit to the German team that will not be covered this season.

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What do you think will happen this season? Will Norris outperform Lewis Hamilton or will he get a race ban? Let us know in the comments!

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Devang Chauhan

162 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sport Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been a ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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