- 2015 champion secures McLaren race seat
- Teenager signs multi-year deal to move to F1
- First British F4 graduate to reach the top of the single-seater ladder
3 September 2018 – Lando Norris, the inaugural winner of the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost title, will graduate to Formula 1 for the 2019 season after being confirmed in a race seat by McLaren.
Lando made his debut in single-seaters in British F4 back in 2015 with the Carlin team, and secured the championship title in fine style in his rookie campaign.
A total of eight race wins and 15 podiums across the season saw him beat Ricky Collard to the title, and kick-started a meteoric rise to the pinnacle of single-seater competition.
On the back of his British F4 success, further titles followed in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC, the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand and in European Formula 3.
Part of McLaren’s Junior Driver Programme since early 2017, Lando currently sits second in the Formula 2 Championship standings and has enjoyed F1 practice outings with McLaren in both Belgium and Italy already this season.
“To be announced as a race driver for McLaren is a dream come true,” Norris, now 18-years-old, 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.”
Ford Performance Europe senior manager Gerard Quinn said; “From the moment he made his debut in British F4 back in 2015, it was clear to see that Lando is a real talent and it is fantastic to see him become the first series graduate to make it to FIA F1. The success he enjoyed with us in his first year in our championship has been mirrored in everything that he has done since, and he richly deserves the opportunity that he has now been given by McLaren.
“Everyone involved with British F4 will watch with great interest in 2019, as Lando has used the series as a springboard to reach the very top of the sport. It serves as an indication of why British F4 is the ideal place for a young driver to launch their single-seater career, and he has already proved to be an inspiration for other young drivers that have joined our championship and are already forging their own successful careers in racing around the world.”