Lando Norris will make his Formula 1 debut in 2019 with McLaren after being announced as Stoffel Vandoorne’s replacement.
Following the confirmation that the Belgium driver would leave the Woking-based team at the end of 2019, Norris will step up from his test and reserve role from next season on a multi-year deal. Norris will partner the already announced Carlos Sainz Jr.
Norris, who will become the second British driver on the F1 grid for 2019 alongside Lewis Hamilton, has hailed the deal ‘a dream come true’.
“To be announced as a race driver for McLaren is a dream come true,” Norris said. “Although I’ve been part of the team for a while now, this is a special moment, one I could only hope would become reality.
“I’d like to thank the whole team for this amazing opportunity and for believing in me. I’m also extremely grateful for the commitment McLaren has already shown in my development, allowing me to build my experience in a Formula 1 car in both testing and on Fridays during the past two race weekends.
“For the remainder of 2018, my focus remains firmly on the Formula 2 championship. My objective is to win the title before joining McLaren full-time, which will be tough, but I will fight as hard as I can for the remaining four races.
“I’ll also be working closely with McLaren at every opportunity to learn as much as possible from the drivers, engineers and mechanics to give myself the best preparation ahead of next year.”
In other words, McLaren will field a brand new pairing for the 2019 F1 season. So now, both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne will be racing in their final 7 races. Alonso will be looking forward to retirement and Vandoorne will be on the hunt for a seat.