Lando Norris completed a sensational day of testing McLaren-Honda’s current Formula One car at the Hungaroring today (2 Aug). The 17-year-old British driver, who currently lies second in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship, was given the opportunity having won the prestigious McLaren Autosport British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Award last December.
Driving a McLaren-Honda MCL32, Lando impressively clocked up almost 250-miles, 91 laps of the 2.72-mile track near Budapest today in very hot weather conditions. In the morning session (57 laps), Lando recorded a personal quickest lap of 1m17.894s but shaved off half a second in the afternoon test (34 laps), stopping the clock in a remarkable 1m17.385s although outright fast lap times were not the priority of the test for the British teenager who was driving the latest generation McLaren-Honda for the first time.
It was nevertheless amazing pace shown by the youngster. Lando made the most of the track time to familiarise himself with the steering wheel controls and system operations of the car, while also conducting some valuable test runs. The team began the morning gathering useful aero data during single-lap runs interspersed with quick-fire set-up changes, before moving to slightly longer runs as the session progressed. The focus was on handling, balance and stability evaluations as well as aero correlation.
Following lunch, the team again concentrated on set-up adjustments between quick laps before moving to high-fuel longer runs. Lando set the second-fastest time, a position he enjoyed for the majority of the day. Norris has already won numerous championships including Formula Kart Stars (2012), CIK-FIA KFJ European, CIK-FIA KFJ Super Cup, WSK Euro Series KFJ, CIK-FIA International Super Cup and World Karting Championship (all 2013), CIK-FIA KF World Championship (2014), MSA Formula Championship (2015) plus Toyota Racing Series, Formula Renault Eurocup and Formula Renault Northern European Cup (2016). Lando’s McLaren Autosport BRDC Award prize also included a funded simulator role and a fitness programme with the McLaren F1 team, an Arai GP-6 RC carbon race helmet and full BRDC membership.
Lando Norris (GB): Born: Bristol, England. Aged 17.“It was a great experience driving a 2017 McLaren-Honda. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to learn and further develop as a driver. It was good to drive at a track I’d been to before and it was pleasing to get up to speed with the current McLaren-Honda.
I was also present earlier in the week and it was interesting to watch the team work from the sidelines while I picked up valuable information from Stoffel [Vandoorne] who was behind the wheel on those days. I managed to get through all the tests that the team asked me to complete, and everything went well. Getting used to the car was a bit of a challenge at first but by the end of the day I felt very comfortable. I got a lot of laps under my belt and I really enjoyed the experience. Big thanks to the team for giving me this opportunity. Hopefully it will be the first of many!”
Eric Boullier, McLaren F1 Racing Director “Lando has impressed us all with his maturity, professionalism and speed, and has got to grips very quickly with the car in only his first outing in the MCL32. His feedback with the engineers has been valuable and accurate, and he’s certainly an asset to our test driver line-up – not to mention a potential star of the future.”