Lando Norris, McLaren, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

Norris and Giovinazzi to drive in practice at Sochi

2018 Russian Grand Prix

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Lando Norris and Antonio Giovinazzi will drive during Friday’s first practice session ahead of the Russian Grand Prix weekend.

McLaren had previously indicated Norris, who will drive for the team in the 2019 F1 season, was unlikely to make further practice outings for them at races such as Sochi where he is also competing in Formula Two. “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,” said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown earlier this month.

Sochi is the penultimate race weekend for the F2 drivers. Norris goes into the final four races 22 points behind championship leader George Russell.

“[It] will be a busy weekend for him as he combines his F1 duties with his F2 championship campaign,” said McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran. “Nevertheless, this will hopefully be another positive step in his development.” Norris previously appeared for the team during practice at Spa and Monza.

Giovinazzi will also be at the wheel of Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber in the first practice session. He has been tipped for a potential move to the team next year in place of Ericsson alongside Kimi Raikkonen.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber, Hungaroring
Giovinazzi will be back in the Sauber
It will be Giovinazzi’s third practice outing of the year for Sauber, following his previous appearances at the Hockenheimring and Hungaroring.

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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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11 comments on “Norris and Giovinazzi to drive in practice at Sochi”

  1. I just hope neither of those 2 put the car in the wall.

  2. I don’t get the logic with Norris. Especially after they themselves said what a bad idea it was to mix F1 and F2 in the same weekend.
    Unless he literally does every FP1 to the end of the season, this doesn’t make sense to me.

    1. At this point, I guess they don’t really care about how well he does in F2, they already decided he did enough to get their seat and needs to prepare for next year @eurobrun, otherwise, indeed it seems a bit counter best interests.

    2. I guess they don’t care about F2 that much now.

    3. They realized it’s a GP2 car, so same difference 😏

    4. He was beaten by his teammate in qualifying for the last 5 weekends, all this is a big excuse for his underperforming pace.

  3. Given McLaren’s current trend with young drivers, I can’t help but feel pity for Norris.

    1. @praxis It’s quite simple really. Do well, and you can stay and become a legend of McLaren, or drown like Perez, Magnussen and Vandoorne did. And it’s not as if McLaren missed out on world class talent as well, Perez has proved that he is a good driver, and certainly not of the calibre McLaren is hoping for, and Magnussen is still slower than Grosjean on ultimate pace at the end of the day. Even if McLaren reached the top (will take years at least), would either of those guys, or Vandoorne, be the one you want? Absolutely not.

    2. Vandoorne got two seasons. Perez and Magnussen only got one. Both have done OK since leaving McLaren but all 3 have hardly been fighting off approaches from Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull to replace Rosberg, Raikkonen and Ricciardo respectively. McLaren have made the right call and both drivers are probably better for racing alongside world champions in Button and Alonso. However now they would struggle to attract the drivers they dropped. Next season really does not look like a McLaren lineup. For the first time ever they will likely go into a season with a lineup consisting of two drivers who have never stepped on an F1 podium. They have made some pretty poor decsions with engine suppliers and car design which world champion drivers could not make up for. Now they don’t have anywhere near the best drivers.

      1. Mclaren just wanted to keep the start driver, because Perez and Magnusen were very close in performance to Button, occasionally out performing. It was a much safer option retaining the world champion.

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