Long-time series leader Lando Norris is ready to go in to battle on “home” soil for FIA Formula 2 Championship honours when the British teenager travels the short distance to Silverstone for two more races next weekend (7-8 Jul).
The McLaren Test & Reserve driver, who lives 130-miles from the Northamptonshire venue in Glastonbury, Somerset, now lies second and 10-points adrift of the series leader at the halfway stage in his maiden 24-race F2 season campaign, Lando having led the championship since the first race until this weekend’s final race (30 Jun-1 Jul).
Eighteen-year-old Norris, who will have the 29-lap (106-mile) Feature Race on Saturday followed by Sunday’s 21-lap (76-mile) Sprint Race, posted second and 11thplacings at the Red Bull Ring in Austria this weekend with both races, as they will at Silverstone, starting from behind the Safety Car.
Norris began yesterday’s 40-lap Feature race around the 2.6-mile Red Bull Ring, featuring three DRS zones, in second place – his third “front row” start of the season – with a reduced series lead of nine-points after George Russell secured pole-position. Norris pitted from second place under Safety Car conditions with six-laps completed, re-joining fifth, the race going “green” two-laps later – three cars ahead not having pitted. He was demoted to sixth following another Safety Car period shortly after mid-distance, losing another place on lap 26 conserving his tyres. With eight laps remaining, Lando was up to fifth and lay third when the remaining cars pitted with four-laps remaining, Norris taking second-place on lap 38 – to retain the championship lead by two-points – his fifth podium of the season – and having set the second fastest lap.
Starting seventh in today’s 28-lap Sprint Race, Norris lost out to Russell, who started one place further back, going into the first turn. He moved briefly up to sixth with 18-laps completed but dropped places in the closing stages due to excessive tyre wear to an eventual 11that the chequered flag – only the second time in the 10 races staged to date Lando has failed to score a championship point.
The McLaren Test & Reserve driver first visited Silverstone in July 2010 and raced there for the first time in 2014 (Ginetta Junior Championship) when aged just 14-years-old. He raced again on the “National” circuit the following year (MSA Formula Championship) and in 2016 (Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup) recorded his first Silverstone win, from pole-position also setting the fastest race lap on his 3.66-mile Grand Prix track début. Most recently, Lando posted a win (again from pole and with fastest lap) plus a third placing in his FIA F3 European Championship winning season last year.