Britain’s Lando Norris has been selected as a member of the McLaren-Honda Young Driver Development programme for 2017. The legendary Formula One team made the announcement today (22 Feb) with 17-year-old Norris being joined by Nobuharu Matsushita and Nyck de Vries who will also benefit from McLaren’s rich motor racing heritage.
McLaren engineers have fostered the careers of several junior race drivers, providing feedback, assessment and training to help develop their skills. The most notable success in this area has been triple World Formula 1 Champion Lewis Hamilton while Stoffel Vandoorne has graduated to a F1 McLaren race seat for the 2017 season alongside Fernando Alonso.
The British team’s considerable experience in driver development has shown that succeeding at the very highest level of motorsport is incredibly difficult and that even the greatest of potential talents requires more than just financial backing to achieve the greatest success. The McLaren-Honda Driver Development Programme offers year-by-year guidance, assistance and endorsement to help promising young racers to climb the motorsport ladder. The programme will aim to provide Lando with accurately-graded physical training and nutrition programmes, career information and contractual guidance, skill and ability assessments, media and PR improvement advice plus the necessary funding to ensure career development.
This exciting news comes two months after Lando was presented with the prestigious 2016 McLaren Autosport British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Award by Éric Boullier, McLaren F1 Racing Director, in London last December. Having won numerous karting titles, the BRDC “SuperStar” won the 2015 MSA Formula Championship plus the Toyota Racing Series, Formula Renault Eurocup and Formula Renault Northern European Cup titles in 2016. Bristol-born Lando, who also finished eighth in the BRDC British Formula 3 Championship despite only contesting half the season, accumulated an incredible 43 podium finishes, including 21 race wins, 26
“This exciting opportunity with McLaren comes at precisely the right time in my career and there is no other Grand Prix team I’d rather be associated with. Being part of the McLaren-Honda Young Driver Development programme is something I wanted to achieve. It's hopefully taking me another step closer to reaching my goal of competing in Formula One. I’m honoured to become part of such a prestigious Formula One team and to be brought in alongside some very good drivers and experienced people too learn off. I already feel at home and totally comfortable with the guys at McLaren. It’s such a well-known and historic ‘brand’ so for me to have been chosen to be part of it makes me thrilled. I’m looking forward to the new experiences and opportunities this will open up for me in 2017 as I strive for success in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.”