McLaren Young Driver races with Campos Racing in Yas Marina
British rising star Lando Norris will make his FIA Formula 2 Championship début by contesting the final event of 2017 for Campos Racing at the Yas Marina Circuit (24-26 Nov). McLaren’s official Formula 1 test and reserve driver for 2018 celebrates his 18th birthday today (13 Nov) and will use the one-off drive with the Spanish team to gain valuable experience of the category in advance of a likely full season in 2018. Lando became the youngest ever winner of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship last month.
Norris will contest two races at the spectacular 3.44-mile United Arab Emirates venue. Formula 2, known as GP2 until this year, is a one-make championship one step down on the open-wheel motorsport “ladder” from Formula 1. It comprises of up to 22 identical Dallara single-seaters powered by 612-hp, four-litre naturally aspirated Renault V8 engines running on “slick” Pirelli tyres. A 60mins “feature race”, featuring a compulsory pit-stop to change tyres, is staged on Saturday (25 Nov) with a 45mins “sprint” race on Sunday (26 Nov) where no pit-stops are allowed. Valencia-based Campos Racing was founded in 1998 by former race driver Adrian Campos.
Meanwhile Norris, who is conducting an official tyre test for McLaren at Interlagos tomorrow (14 Nov), signs off from the F3 category next weekend (18-19 Nov) by racing a Carlin prepared Dallara-Volkswagen in the Macau F3 Grand Prix. Lando, racing around the tight and narrow 3.85-mile temporary Circuito da Guia street circuit for the first time last year, impressively sliced his way through to a praiseworthy 11th place – fourth-best “rookie” – from a 26th start position for his GP début. He misses opening practice on Thursday (16 Nov) and is only scheduled to arrive in Macau shortly before first qualifying for the Suncity Group Formula 3 Macau Grand Prix. The 10-lap Qualification race is on Saturday (1350 local) with the GP the following day (1530).
“Having won the FIA Formula 3 European Championship at my first attempt this year, I will either step up to Formula 2 or Super Formula in 2018 towards my goal of one day racing in Formula 1. To get the opportunity to contest the last two races of this year’s F2 season is therefore a bonus whichever category I ultimately chose. It’ll be the first time I’ve ever competed in a race that includes a compulsory pit-stop and so this will also be a new experience for me.
“I’ll be signing off from F3 this weekend and having won the Euro F3 title at my first attempt this year, it would be great to go back to Macau and win – it would be an awesome end to what’s already been an amazing year. But it’ll be tough as in addition to the high-class field and the nature of the uncompromising track, I’m missing practice which isn’t ideal but Macau is a race I really want to go back and do with the Carlin guys – even with that disadvantage."