Lando Norris Wants to Prove He’s on Par With Ferrari’s LeClerc

The McLaren reserve driver says he must win the F2 title to match LeClerc.

byCaleb Jacobs|
F1 photo

Lando Norris, the 18-year-old McLaren junior who was recently announced as the team's reserve driver, has made his rivalry with Ferrari's Charles LeClerc clear. The latter showed dominance in GP2 this past season, taking the overall crown and perhaps earning himself a spot in Formula 1 next year with Sauber. While the Monaco-born Maranello driver has stolen the show, Norris tells that he's not to be outshined, saying that he plans to prove his skills in F2 next year.

Lando Norris will make his debut in the Formula 1 support series come 2018. His success as a GP3 champion foreshadowed his abilities to the rest of the racing community including his Woking bosses, something that he intends to capitalize on shortly. With a one-and-done campaign planned for Norris next year in F2, he'll work to earn his spot in the top tier of motorsport by 2020.

“I would expect to win if I win [races as a rookie],” said Norris. “Leclerc has done it this year so if I want to beat or prove I’m just as a good then I’m going to have to win. 

“I think that’s the main thing – I don’t think there’s any point in going for second or third."

Norris admitted that while veterans of the series may have an upper hand in terms of experience, his skill could propel him above others on the grid.

“Of course it’s hard to know what drivers are staying and doing another year – who is going to be experienced and who is new. It all changes, but winning the championship would be the aim. After that, I couldn’t really say what I would want to do or what I would choose to do – if I didn’t win then [I’d] presume another year [in F2], but if I did I can’t do another year.”

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As for LeClerc, he is expected to be included in Sauber's January driver team announcement. He could possibly be joined by Antonio Giovinazzi, another European formula racing star, transitioning into the sport at just 20-years-old.