Lando Norris, McLaren, Monza, 2018

Norris’s F1 runs “probably not helping him in F2” – Brown

2018 F1 season

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New McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris’s recent practice outings for the team have been a distraction from his F2 championship bid, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown believes.

Norris, who has been confirmed in the team’s 2019 driver line-up today, has driven their car in first practice at the last two rounds. But he admitted finding it difficult to readjust to his F2 car afterwards.

However Brown praised Norris’s performance in his practice outings for McLaren. “Lando’s doing an excellent job,” he said.

“I think we’re probably not helping him in Formula Two right now bouncing him back and forth between Formula 1 cars and Formula Two cars.

Norris only did nine laps during the rain-hit practice session at Monza on Friday, but Brown said his performance was “extremely good.”

“He was very close to Fernando’s pace if you look at the ultimate time. We parked Lando’s car to save some tyres. Ultimately the gap if you look at the time sheet was not representative of actually what was happening on the track when they were on the track at the same time. [And] he did a very impressive job in Spa.”

Following his first F1 practice run at Spa, Norris said it “felt like I’d never been in a Formula Two car before” when he returned to the cockpit of his Carlin F2 machine. “It was quite weird getting used to the downforce and braking and power.”

Norris is 22 points behind F2 championship leader George Russell. He lost 10 points to his rival over the last four races, and his only win to date is the season-opening race in Bahrain. There are four races left in the championship.

Speaking before his F1 race contract was announced, Norris said he’s beginning to get used to driving for McLaren.

“It’s feeling more and more natural this year,” he said. “I don’t feel as nervous every time I come in but it’s still a big deal coming in every day, coming in every day to McLaren.

“It never feels normal, every time you walk into McLaren or here or get into the car. It all feels pretty special.”

Norris will next drive a McLaren in a two-day tyre test for Pirelli beginning on Wednesday.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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13 comments on “Norris’s F1 runs “probably not helping him in F2” – Brown”

  1. A group of friends are on a road trip and start experiencing car troubles, so they switch out the driver and one the passengers takes over driving duties.

  2. He lost 10 points to his rival over the last four races, and his only win to date is the season-opening race in Bahrain. […]

    Speaking before his F1 race contract was announced, Norris said he’s beginning to get used to driving for McLaren.

    Reading this part , he indeed is getting ready for McLaren.

  3. Reading all these news got me wondering. I far would we need to go back for McLaren to have a driver pairing with 0 wins, 0 podiums, 0 pole positions in F1

      1. McLaren’s last race with two winless drivers was the last race of the 1995 season (Australian Grand Prix): Mark Blundell never won a race, and Mika Häkkinen would won his first race 2 years after that. The following season Blundell was replaced by David Coulthard who had won his first race for Williams in 1995.

        The team never had a “pairing” of podium-less drivers, not even at its beginning as founder Bruce McLaren had already won 3 races for Cooper.

        1. The team never had a “pairing” of podium-less drivers,

          @maimai It’s absolutely schocking that that’s happening now. It certainly adds to the lows of the recent years. It gets ever more difficult to see McLaren getting out of this slump…

          1. @toiago

            The downfall started after 2007 their last best year. They were almost beaten in 2008 with Lewis losing 7 races to Alonso in the Renault.
            They went downhill with Lewis and Button there and Alonso barely got chance to drag them higher. What difference will it make next year?

      2. I was suspicious that would be the answer.

        Thanks @maimai for the details

  4. Zak you make excuses when he is a Mclaren driver…….not before
    Have watched Norris….too cautious and not aggresive enough in F2… when are we to expect a change??

  5. It’s a very bad excuse for me. He qualified behind Camara in Silverstone and Hungaroring were Norris only had F2 to focus (and in Hungaroring Camara was pole and he managed only a very far 6th place). It’s not like he was slower than his team mate only in those last 2 rounds.

    The fact is he’s slower in pace than his team mate since Austria. Camara is showing himself as a good benchmark, but at the same time Norris needed to be a lot more dominant over him.

  6. Driving that car isn’t good for anyone

  7. Shoulda coulda woulda.

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