Having been compared to Hamilton, Norris confesses that Mercedes driver isn’t his idol

motorsport.com

British teen driver Lando Norris believes that he has done enough to secure the reserve seat at McLaren next year and hopes that the team agrees with his assessment.



Norris, the Glastonbury racer who turns 18 next month, has constantly drawn comparisons with Lewis Hamilton for his driving style and recently emulated the Mercedes driver by winning the European Formula Three championship in Germany.

Norris was signed by McLaren’s young driver academy in February after displaying impressive performances in the junior categories of motor racing.

He will now make a step up to Formula One’s feeder series, known as Formula Two, in 2018.

While that is a big enough bonus in itself, Norris also wants the additional role of McLaren reserve driver. This would mean that he will take the seat if either Fernando Alonso (who is expected to sign a contract extension) or Stoffel Vandoorne are forced out of a race.

“I hope I can be the team’s reserve driver in 2018,” he said.

“It has been talked about, so it is something which is possible, but McLaren have got to decide. Jenson has said himself that he is finished with Formula One, and that he wants to do some other form of motor racing and have fun.

“I have a good opportunity to be the third driver next year, but we are looking at 2019 or 2020 as a more realistic option for a full-time drive. That provides me with a better opportunity to prepare with Formula Two and a learning curve towards being in Formula One.”

He may not have the experience that a lot of his competitors boast of, but Norris has been earmarked by many as a Grand Prix star of the future.

He caught everyone’s attention during his first official F1 outing at August’s test in Hungary – in which he was second only to Sebastian Vettel.

He made sure that the public didn’t think this was just a one-off as we went on to seal the prestigious F3 title with two races to spare.

Speaking about Hamilton, Norris said that while he does not consider the championship leader to be his hero, he holds a lot of respect for him.




“I kind of look up to Lewis, not as a hero, but as a very good driver who is very fast,” Norris, who lives at home with his parents and two sisters in Somerset, added. “Everyone has to admire his pace, especially in qualifying. He is a driver I support, in terms of him being British, and I want him to win, but he isn’t an idol to me.

“The only thing I can do is go off my results that I have had in the past. There haven’t been many who have won the F3 championship – and the ones that have, have gone on to drive in Formula One – so I just hope that tradition continues.”

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