Lando Norris will drive the McLaren in Friday’s first practice for the Belgian GP. The team will evaluates him with an eye for a possible 2019 race seat.
McLaren announced that Norris, who is competing in the Formula Two championship where he is second overall, will replace Fernando Alonso in FP1 at Spa.
“This is not only part of his ongoing development. But also the evaluation and performance evolution of the car, McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran said. – We’ll be taking a strategic view race-by-race at where else this might be beneficial for us over the coming grands prix.”
Friday’s outing, likely to be the first of several before the end of this season.
They will give McLaren an idea of how Norris, who last tested the car at the post-Hungarian GP, fares up against Stoffel Vandoorne.
Motorsport.com understands Norris could then drive another FP1 session the week after at Monza. There he will replace Stoffel Vandoorne.
The Belgian’s race seat is under threat after failing to match Alonso in this year’s championship. Several sources suggesting Norris is the favourite to replace Vandoorne if McLaren opted for an all-new line up for next season.
The team has already announced Carlos Sainz as Alonso replacement for 2019. Norris was approached by Toro Rosso in June to replace Brendon Hartley for the rest of this season, but McLaren refused.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) August 20, 2018