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Norris to make Grand Prix weekend debut in Belgium

20 Aug 2018

Lando Norris has impressed when testing for McLaren. Now the iconic team’s reserve driver will get his first taste of Grand Prix weekend action when he drives the orange car in place of the departing Fernando Alonso in Belgian Grand Prix first practice at Spa on Friday...

Norris was in action for McLaren when he tested the MCL33 during the post-Hungarian Grand Prix earlier this summer. And as the F1 season resumes after the summer break this weekend in the heart of the Ardennes Forest, McLaren say Norris will get more time in the car with a run in the opening 90-minute session.

Sporting Director Gil De Ferran also hinted Norris could get further opportunities later in the season, with eight races still to go after Spa.

“This weekend will be the first time that our reserve driver Lando will drive the MCL33 during a race weekend, as he steps into Fernando’s car for FP1 on Friday,” said De Ferran.

“This is not only part of his ongoing development, but also the evaluation and performance evolution of the car. We’ll be taking a strategic view race-by-race at where else this might be beneficial for us over the coming grands prix.”

McLaren are currently evaluating options for their 2019 driver line-up, following double world champion Alonso’s decision not to race in F1 next season. Renault's Carlos Sainz will pilot one of their cars, but the other seat hasn't been locked down.

Will Stoffel Vandoorne be retained? Could Norris be promoted? Or will the team recruit externally?