Cape Town - McLaren have moved quickly to announce Lando Norris as
Stoffel Vandoorne's replacement from next season onward.
Late on Monday morning, McLaren confirmed that they would
not be renewing Vandoorne's contract and the last seven races of the 2018
season will be his last with the team.
The statement said his replacement would be replaced in 'due
course', and no sooner than an hour later, current reserve and development driver
Lando Norris was confirmed as Carlos Sainz's team-mate.
"We’re very pleased to finally be able to reveal who
will complete our driver line-up at McLaren for 2019," said McLaren CEO
"We believe Lando is an exciting talent, full of
potential, who we’ve very deliberately kept within the McLaren fold for exactly
"We already know he’s fast, he learns quickly, and has
a mature head on his young shoulders. We see much potential for our future
"The investment we have made in his budding career with
simulator development and seat-time in the car has been well-deserved, as he
has continued to prove his abilities both behind the wheel and in his work with
the engineering team.
"Lando is an integral part of our plan for rebuilding
our Formula 1 operation for the future, and he has already developed a strong
relationship with the team.
"In Lando and Carlos we have an impressive duo who,
despite their relative youth, hold valuable experience in Formula 1 and with
McLaren, and represent the next generation of McLaren drivers to lead the team
"While our short-term focus is fixed on securing the
best possible result for the remainder of the 2018 season, we’re also massively
motivated by the opportunities that lie ahead."
Norris has already been gaining Formula 1 experience this
season with test appearances as well as two FP1 outings in Spa and Monza.
The reigning GP3 champion currently sits second in the
Formula 2 World Championship.