5 DECEMBER, 2016 – 2015 FIA British Formula 4 Champion Lando Norris capped a phenomenal 2016, which saw him claim both the Eurocup and Northern European Cup titles, as well as the TRS title, by winning the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.
The Award earns him a test in a McLaren F1 car and a simulator role with the British team, as well as full BRDC membership and an Arai GP-6 RC carbon crash helmet.
Norris emerged triumphant having been up against fellow British F4 graduates Ricky Collard (2016 British F3 vice champion), Toby Sowery (2016 British F3 multiple race winner) and Sennan Fielding (2016 FIA British Formula 4 vice champion) in a comprehensive test which put them through their paces.
The young stars battled it out over two intensive days of assessments at Silverstone in November which featured on-track tests on the Grand Prix circuit in Formula 2, Mercedes DTM and McLaren GT cars, plus simulator sessions and fitness tests conducted by McLaren.
Said Norris upon receiving the Award on the same night that he was crowned British Club Driver of the Year: “It’s been great, the racing success this year, but this has really topped it off.
“I need to give a lot of respect to the other drivers – Ricky, Sennan and Toby.
“I’ve raced against them for the past few years, we’ve given each other a lot of respect and they’ve made my life hard.”
The judging panel was led by former F1 driver, 1992 World Sportscar champion and BRDC president Derek Warwick, and also comprised two-time British Touring Car champion Jason Plato, McLaren’s Andrew Kirkaldy and Mark Williams, guest judge David Brabham, leading circuit commentator Ian Titchmarsh, Autosport Editor Kevin Turner and Autosport Features Editor Scott Mitchell.
Commented Warwick who was joined by Brabham, Turner and McLaren racing director Éric Boullier to present Norris with the Award: “He was one of the quickest in the DTM car, one of the quickest in the McLaren GT3 car and was stunning in the Formula 2 single-seater. He’s got a great career ahead of him. In Lando we’ve got a future Formula 1 driver and a future F1 World Champion.”
Added British F4 championship manager David Lowe: “Many congratulations to Lando. What he achieved in our championship at the age of 15 was very special and this year he has used the experience gained in F4 to go on to even greater heights.
“By winning the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, Lando will follow in the footsteps of another of our graduates and winner of this Award 2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button. I have no doubt that Lando will continue to be a fantastic ambassador for British F4 as he progresses up the FIA single-seater pyramid.
“It’s been a superb year for our British F4’s graduates. All four finalists for this prestigious Award have competed successfully in Ford EcoBoost-powered machinery.
“This is testament to the championship’s ability to prepare and develop the sport’s brightest young talents for a career in motor racing. We are giving drivers the foundation for success. The F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford is unquestionably the place to be.”