Lando Norris will participate in Formula 1’s Free Practice 1 on Friday at Spa-Francorchamps as well as resume his challenge for FIA Formula 2 Championship honours in Belgium next weekend (24-26 Aug), refreshed and re-energized after a three-week break.
The 18-year-old McLaren F1 Test and Reserve driver will take part in an official F1 practice session during a Grand Prix weekend for the first time at the wheel of a McLaren MCL33 in Friday’s 90-minute session. Norris recently clocked up almost 500-miles in a two-day test following the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring (31 Jul-1 Aug), taking his total test mileage in a McLaren F1 car to over 1,600-miles since August 2017.
F2’s only practice session around the magnificent fast, sweeping and undulating Spa track for the 17th and 18th races in this year’s 24-race F2 series, is scheduled to begin a mere 25mins after FP1 is due to end on Friday which in itself leaves Norris facing a difficult task in quickly adapting from Fernando Alonso’s McLaren to his Carlin Dallara F2 car. But the British teenager has already excelled in lower formulae at Spa - his all-time favourite race track.
The BRDC SuperStar, who lies second in the Driver’s standings 12-points off the leader, has taken wins at the stunningly beautiful Ardennes track in Formulae 4 (2016), Renault (2016) and 3 (2017) along with multiple pole-positions and fastest race laps. At 4.35-miles in length, Spa is the longest circuit on the F2 calendar, and so will comprise of 25-lap Feature and 18-lap Sprint races over the weekend with the weather often playing an important role in deciding the race results.
"Driving in Friday morning’s F1 practice will be super cool and a great experience. It’ll also be good to get back to racing again. Spa is my favourite track so I’m really looking forward to racing there again. I had a good break since the F1 test in Hungary. I’ve gone pretty well in the past there in F4, Renault and F3. Weather conditions can be changeable and after the first part of the Feature race in Hungary, some rain would be cool. But anyway, Spa is a good track for overtaking. Eau Rouge into Radillion plus Pouhon, a tricky double apex left, are the stand-outs for me. Carlin and I go there confident with Friday’s practice and qualifying hopefully getting us off to a good start.”