McLaren will announce its second driver for the 2019 F1 season in before the end of September.Carlos Sainz Jnr as its replacement for the outgoing Fernando Alonso.
The future of the team’s current second driver Stoffel Vandoorne remains in doubt. Vandoorne has endured a difficult second full season in Formula 1 during which he has failed to out-qualify Alonso in all of the 13 races so far.
The team replaced his chassis for the Hungarian Grand Prix after a problem was diagnosed on his previous car in the two races leading up to the race. However Vandoorne was slowest in all three practice sessions at Spa, where he suffered further technical problems, and qualified and finished last.
McLaren will run test driver Lando Norris in Vandoorne’s car during the first practice session at Monza tomorrow. This will be Norris’s second outing for the team in a practice session this year. The 18-year-old is the reigning European Formula Three champion and heads into this weekend’s Formula Two round five points behind championship leader George Russell.
Rumours ahead of the Italian Grand Prix suggested Sergio Perez is in discussions to return to McLaren, who he drove for in 2013. However RaceFans understands he has already signed to remain at Force India for next season.
View the current list of 2019 F1 drivers and teams
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2018 F1 season
- McLaren staff told us we were “totally crazy” to take Honda engines in 2018 – Tost
- ‘It doesn’t matter if we start last’: How Red Bull’s junior team aided Honda’s leap forward
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault