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Stepping up: Norris replaces Vandoorne at McLaren F1 for 2019
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Posted By: Editor   |  03 Sep 2018   |  7:09 pm GMT  |  129 comments

McLaren reserve and development driver Lando Norris will be promoted to the senior team for 2019, replacing Stoffel Vandoorne and partnering Carlos Sainz.

And it looks like youth could be given a chance at Ferrari too with Italian sources increasingly confident that Charles Leclerc will get the nod at Ferrari soon.

Having signed Carlos Sainz just a couple of weeks ago, a number of drivers were in the mix to complete the 2019 line-up, especially with Stoffel Vandoorne under pressure to start competing favourably against Fernando Alonso.

With both Vandoorne and Norris in the frame, Force India driver Esteban Ocon was also a candidate, although his links with Mercedes proved an impediment.

Ocon looks to be out at Force India because Sergio Perez brings sponsorship and is considered the ideal benchmark for incoming Lance Stroll.

Having given Norris free practice one outings at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, McLaren have decided to promote from within and sign up the 18-year-old for next season.

“To be announced as a race driver for McLaren is a dream come true,” said Norris. “Although I’ve been part of the team for a while now, this is a special moment, one I could only hope would become reality.

“I’d like to thank the whole team for this amazing opportunity and for believing in me. I’m also extremely grateful for the commitment McLaren has already shown in my development, allowing me to build my experience in a Formula 1 car in both testing and on Fridays during the past two race weekends.”

The Briton is currently racing for Carlin in the Formula Two championship, which he says will remain his priority along with continuing his development at McLaren.

“For the remainder of 2018, my focus remains firmly on the Formula 2 championship. My objective is to win the title before joining McLaren full-time, which will be tough, but I will fight as hard as I can for the remaining four races. I’ll also be working closely with McLaren at every opportunity to learn as much as possible from the drivers, engineers and mechanics to give myself the best preparation ahead of next year.”

McLaren CEO Zak Brown added he believed Norris’ maturity and ability to learn quickly made him the ideal candidate for a 2019 drive.

“We’re very pleased to finally be able to reveal who will complete our driver line-up at McLaren for 2019,” said Brown.

“We believe Lando is an exciting talent, full of potential, who we’ve very deliberately kept within the McLaren fold for exactly that reason.

“We already know he’s fast, he learns quickly, and has a mature head on his young shoulders. We see much potential for our future together. The investment we have made in his budding career with simulator development and seat-time in the car has been well-deserved, as he has continued to prove his abilities both behind the wheel and in his work with the engineering team.”

Vandoorne: sad tale of something not meant to be

Just moments before Norris was revealed as McLaren’s second 2019 race driver, they released a statement saying Stoffel Vandoorne would be leaving the team.

In what has been a difficult two years for the Belgian, the 2015 GP2 Series champion – and McLaren development driver prior to that – has struggled to match the pace of team-mate Fernando Alonso.

His dominant GP2 Series-winning year meant he became one of the most coveted junior drivers of recent years, and his stock rose further with a points-scoring debut at the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix.

After waiting patiently at McLaren, he got his chance for 2017 after the retirement of Jenson Button. However, he’s struggled to match his championship-winning team-mate, and has been out-qualified by him all season.

“I’m very grateful to McLaren for investing their faith in me over the past five years,” said Vandoorne. “I joined McLaren as a young driver and have since seen my career progress within the team from Test and Development Driver to Reserve Driver and then to full-time race driver.

“While we haven’t achieved the success we’d all hoped for, I’ve really enjoyed the past two seasons racing for McLaren and I have a great relationship with everyone in the team.

“I intend to give it my all for the remaining seven races of this season, and will announce my plans for next season in due course.”

Vandoorne isn’t thought to have many back-up options in Formula One. He has history of racing for Frederic Vasseur, who is now the current Sauber team principal, but no doors appear to be open at the Swiss team.

Toro Rosso are likely to go outside of their own programme and Williams are likely to take at least one Mercedes-backed driver along with a driver with more sponsorship than Vandoorne.

Notably, Zak Brown conceded that Vandoorne was not often given the best opportunities to show his potential.

“It’s clear we haven’t provided Stoffel with the tools to show his true talent, but throughout our relationship he’s proved to be a fantastic team player,” said Brown.

“His work ethic is impressive, he has a great reputation within the team and we’ve really enjoyed working with him. Of course, we would have loved to achieve more success during our time together, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that he will always be a part of the McLaren family of grand prix drivers.”

By: Luke Murphy & James Allen

All images: Motorsport Images

What do you think of McLaren’s decision to promote Norris? Where do you think Vandoorne will be in 2019? Leave your thoughts in the section below.

 

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1

I think Norris is the most talented Englishman driver in decades. He is complete

2

All the best Lando. You will need it with a guy like Zak running the show.

Now lets see if Toto will unwind those Germain balls of his and put Ocon into the Merc seat sooner than later , eh Wolffy?

3

Yup looks like Ocon has a real shot at a TR drive if Toto can release him from Mercedes. If that’s the case there’s no hope for Vandoorne. : (

4

This feels very hard on Vandoorne, who has shown a few flashes of brilliance despite being saddled with a dog of a car/engine and eclipsed by Alonso. However, McLaren’s hand has been forced, to a large extent. Norris’s existing McLaren deal is up this year and Helmut Marko made it clear Red Bull would poach him if he didn’t sign a new one. If Norris’s representatives are worth their salt, they’d leveraged that to say a reserve and FP role was not good enough (though it seems Lando himself would’ve been content with that). It was clever of Red Bull, as it effectively forced McLaren to choose between Norris and Vandoorne. The team will have plenty of data on both and have concluded that Norris is the better bet at this point.

It’s hard to blame them – the Daniil Kvyat saga shows that even a very talented driver cannot perform at this level if his head isn’t in the right place, and Stoffel’s head is clearly not in the right place. I don’t think it’s over for him – you don’t have a junior career like that without serious ability – but he might have to sit out 2019 with a view to making a comeback in 2020. With that kind of potential, someone’s bound to take a chance on him. If they can afford to do so.

5

Alo probably made more harm than good In the end and they probably have screwed up Vadoornes career by now

6

It rather makes sence to have two non expensive drivers when the car is rubbish. Altough someone should be able to help developo it

7

Red Bull should snap up Vandoorne and pair him with Kvyat at TR. They can get a talented driver with two years experience in F1 for nothing and he also has experience working with Honda. It was an impossible ask for Vandoorne to thrive as Alonso’s treamate. Red Bull knows how to develop drivers and they’ve been forthright in giving drivers a second go when they believed they had something more to deliver. Kvyat is the perfect pairing with Vandoorne he can help motivate and mentor the lad through the ups and downs of the sport. What a wonderful story it will make if Red Bull gives Vandoorne his second chance and he delivers with more than two world championships in Formula One ; )

8

That’s what I’d do in Red Bull’s shoes. It doesn’t seem like they’re thinking along those lines, with Sebastien Buemi now possibly being lined up to bridge the gap to Dan Ticktum. Personally, I’d sooner give it to Alexander Albon if they don’t want Vandoorne, as I think he’s done enough to earn a shot.

9

The problem is that there are not enough cars on the F1 grid these days and a large percentage of those that are there are nowhere near good enough to make the front three rows.

Unless we get more teams there will always be drivers with good potential that never get a chance to develop their skills properly.

It’s all down to the stupidly expensive power units and developments in Aero performance.

F1 needs independent, simpler and far less expensive engine and gearbox packages from companies like Cosworth and Hewland.

Being able to buy these off the shelf or lease them at reasonable cost would give new teams half a chance of at least breaking even. Three extra teams would spice up the show and solve the young driver problem.

10

I was interested to see if the ‘daddy’s money’ criticism frequently tossed at Stroll would come up with the son of multi multi millionaire Financier Adam Norris but weirdly enough barely a mention of it….. yet.

11

Norris hasn’t needed quite the level of financial input as Lance, whose teams have either been owned by or heavily invested in by his father. However, for all that Lance is clearly a quick driver – it’s all the other things a driver needs beyond speed where he’s in doubt and he’ll have nowhere to hide alongside a driver who delivers as consistently as Checo Perez.

Norris has, I think, had a more comprehensive programme leading up to F1 and should arrive much better prepared than Stroll did (Lance didn’t even look comfortable in the car in 2017, and it often looked like it was driving him). I do think it’s a year too soon for Lando, but McLaren will be expecting that and know that as their own recovery has not really started, there shouldn’t be too much pressure on him. Looking back, it’s quite remarkable that they were prepared to drop Hamilton straight into a race winning car in 2007, though Hamilton was clearly something very special (as was Stoffel Vandoorne…)

12

Did Norris’ dad rent a race track and pay a few teams for his son to practice in older Formula 1 cars yet, like Mr. Stroll did? And dis he put millions into buying a seat in F1? Doesn’t look like it at the moment, but let’s see.

Stroll threw money at everyone who would support his son, bought test drives, got the best engineers, got him seats in the best junior teams by constantly throwing money at it. No, you can’t make it without some talent, but all that spending makes a difference, as you can see with Stroll, it can make a mediocre driver win junior series and keep him in F1 against all odds. A bit like Ericcsson by the way. Huge financial backing despite lack of ultimate speed. Just like Stroll he’s beaten by every team made he gets in F1, but the money keeps him in.

13

Every young driver relies on parents money, it is just how hard it is for the parents to give. Hence Ocon’s parents sold their home and lived in a caravan to support their son.

At some time the skills come through and a driver development scheme takes over. Or of course Daddy keeps paying and buys a team for you.

14

Unless I’m mistaken, Norris isn’t actually buying his seat (or team) like Stroll is.

15

No, but being mega rich certainly helps climb the ladder of high level motorsport boosting past drivers of possibly greater talent but nowhere near the means. Being exceedingly wealthy, or at least good chums with someone who is, is looking more and more like a necessity for an aspiring F1 driver these days. That’s not to sayNorris doesn’t deserve the seat, after all he’s won several junior racing series including Euro F3, but then so did Stroll…..

16

I am aware of that and never said it wasn’t, but your comment suggested that Stroll and Norris were effectively the same in terms of how their money got them into F1, and should get the same criticism. Stroll wouldn’t be in F1 without the money his father is giving Williams, nor the money he gave to bail out RPFI. As far as I’m aware, Norris’ family isn’t giving any money to McLaren as a result of this.

And yes, they both won Euro F3, but Stroll did it at his second attempt, Norris did it as a rookie.

17

“Unless I’m mistaken, Norris isn’t actually buying his seat (or team) like Stroll is.”

………………..but at least Snr Sroll is putting his money behind his beliefs.

18

Oh dear Andrew…. Really? Do you believe that he is there by talent alone. F1 is becoming pathetic. Blatant mega rich kids blasting around safely.

Thats why I like Kimi….

19

What about Alonso and Schumacher? They were both pay drivers when they arrived in F1… As for Norris, my understanding is that he came from a reasonably wealthy family but they aren’t in the mega rich bracket. Every driver on the grid has come from some money as it is just a fact of life that it is expensive to get into motor sports. Karting isn’t a cheap sport. If you like the rags to riches stories I can suggest Football as a sport to watch – Cricket, Rugby or Polo are probably not sports for you to follow.

More importantly for me than the social class of his parents, Norris grew up in Glastonbury which is where I went to school so that gives me a good reason to support him. He probably went to the same school as me!

20

The grinch. Trying to make out that F1 is populated enrirely by spoilt rich kids is clearly nonsense, so is pretending that isn’t a sport. If it was just entertainment then the teams and drivers wouldn’t care who wins, they would just be happy to have delivered the most entertaining performance for the public, but they do care.

F1 has a few rich kids, and I would prefer they weren’t there, but trying to lump Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso in with Stroll and Sirotkin is total cobblers. Give me the name of your favourite ever driver, or the one who dragged himself up by his fingernails from the lowest gutter, and I will give you the names of the ‘mega rich kids’ who he raced against, it doesn’t matter what the era, they have always been there.

21

multi multi million invester .. so very wealthy indeed.

22

Thegrinch, so you prefer drivers who got themselves up the ladder with no rich backers? A but like Lewis then?

23

And now you try to make out I said something different

I have not said Lewis had an incredibly wealthy backer. I am just denying your statement that he had no rich backer. He had his father who by my standards was wealthy. Six bedroom four bathroom detatched house and not the council flat you ( and Lewis) like to project. Now to keep Lewis going his father did not sell the house as per Ocon but funded the racing from his business earnings.

As I said before ..your idea of poverty and mine are very different.

24

Tomx. Anthony Hamilton was not a rich backer, he wasn’t wealthy by the standards of the other people mentioned, he was just Lewis’ Dad who lived in an ordinary house and earned an ordinary amount of money. Funding Lewis’ karting was not easy for him, he couldn’t afford the ‘best of everything’ approach that many of the others could. You have come up with nothing at all that challenges this statement in any way, and still you are trying to infer that Lewis’ rise to the top was eased by some incredibly wealthy benefactor, this is simply not the case.

25

, so you prefer drivers who got themselves up the ladder with no rich backers?

And still you rewrite the Hamilton history. He lived in a council house with his mother until he was 11. Then he followed the money and moved in with his father who was rich enough to support his racing. Oh and please don’t try to rewrite your quotes when we can all read them.

26

Tom. Nobody gets into any professional sport without family assistance, and I never said that Lewis did either. My original comment to the Grinch was that Lewis was never a ‘mega rich kid’, before the family moved into that 400k house they lived in a council flat, I have no idea how much Tony was earning in those days, but I doubt it would have covered a season of gp2, let alone F1. Lewis got to F1 through his own hard work and talent level, with all the support his family could muster, and this wasn’t a lot.

27

TimW. You held Lewis up as getting himself up the ladder rather than relying on dad’s money. As I pointed out ..not so…just accept it..no matter how hard you try to make up a fake history ..Lewis had a father who was well enough off ( with working) to support his early career. The lad from a poor family bit does not work. Unless you consider a six bedroom four bathroom house to be living in poverty.

http://www.thecomet.net/news/lewis-hamilton-s-former-home-awarded-plaque-1-1126768

28

Hi Tim.

F1 is flawed as a sport. In as much as it isnt a sport anymore.

Its entertainment. On the driver front we are not watching elite drivers. We are watching the finacially elite having fun with their kids.

You or I would help our kids get a job at our place of business. Thats natural. But we wouldnt be so blazen to profess they got the job because they are better than everyone else.

I find rich children irritating to listen to and to watch. I dont want to see spoilt children racing. I want to see brave, fearless men or women giving it their all.

The isle of man TT is a good example of what I mean. Money in motorcycling only gets you so far… Talent takes over pretty quick. Dad buying you the fastest bike or a place in a team doesnt work on a bike.

F1 cars have turned imto glorified games machines that anyone with skinny arms and spots can drive…

29

Tomx. Does it matter what Tony did for a living? The fact is he wasn’t a billionaire like Lawrence Stroll, or even a ‘mere’ multi millionaire like Jos Verstappen or Joe Ricciardo, he had an ordinary job and sacrificed a lot to help Lewis et noticed by McLaren. I don’t see how this is different to what ‘our Nige’ did. The obvious difference between their respective eras is the age at which they were competing, Nige was largely self funded until he got to F3, but what was Lewis supposed to do at the age of 10?!

30

Thegrinch, I agree that there are drivers on the grid who shouldn’t be there, but in reality those guys aren’t stopping the next Alonso or Hamilton from entering the sport, maybe a Hulkenberg or Sainz level driver will find his way blocked, but the big talents will always get in.

Maybe Norris has good competition in F2, whatever we will see how good he really is when he gets in the car next year, if he is just a mediocre talent with a rich Dad, then he will sink.

31

Hi Tim.

I’m just getting a bit fed up of being robbed of seeing the best drivers with real talent in F1. If F1 was dangerous these rich kids would be nowhere to be seen. Mum and Dad wouldnt allow it.

F1 is now a playground for rich dads

And their sons… rather than a playground for the rich employing fast drivers.

If Norris was stand out good he would be blitzing F2. He isnt.

32

TimW..you just coldn’t leave it alone could you?

None of the current the drivers got themselves up the ladder. Unlike Mansell or Ratzeberger.

Hamiltons father took redundancy money and then the much reported three jobs was actually three contracts as a consultant. Hard work but not holding down threee jobs in the conventionsl way. So let’s not forget your precious Lewis was willing to sponge off the old man for his own ends.

33

Lando should be really happy to land a drive – drive is at a supreme premium. If he does well against Sainz and/or McLaren improves, who knows where else his future will take him.

Vandoorne – even if i want to like him his record head to head vs team mate is horrible.

34

Bit off topic but, I always thought McLaren dumping Honda was folly but now it’s struck how utterly incompetent it was. McLaren were hoping they would benefit long term from the simplied engine regs RBR were also pushing for, maybe even developing their own engine. Now RBR have a manufacturer deal with Honda they’re, along with Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes, becoming a roadblock to those new engine refs leaving McLaren completely stuffed both short term and long term. Very astute political moves by Horner and shows Zak Browns complete naivety. He’s a nice guy but I don’t feel he should be running McLaren.

35

I thought it was a terrible risk at the time – Honda were improving the unit and had really taken such a big chance on the new layout at McLaren’t urging. More than that, there was an alarming lack of strategic thought involved. As a sportscar manufacturer, McLaren are in direct competition with not only Ferrari and Mercedes, but most of the other marques who could potentially enter F1 as engine suppliers – Porsche, VAG, BMW.

Burning their bridges with Honda left Renault their only viable option among the current suppliers, who obviously have their own works team to prioritise. There aren’t many other potential suppliers for them, either. Toyota is unlikely, given McLaren’s past associations with Honda. Their only real hopes are the mooted Cosworth/Aston Martin joint venture for 2021, or an ambitious project to bring Ricardo in-house and make their own F1 power units, which would be a jolly expensive long-term investment that likely wouldn’t pay dividends for several years.

Dropping Honda like they did was pure folly and they were foolish for letting Alonso push them into it.

36

Alonso didn’t push them in to it.

37

My level of “told you so” is beyond limits.

It was very clear that Honda did improve massively every year and looking at the lap times and the types of circuits, it was clear that their car was lacking speed not just because of the engine, but because of the aerodynamics. And it was also pretty clear that Renault had very big problems with reliability as well. The move was just wrong. The should have bailed out way earlier or stuck to the decision (that would have sealed the Honda deal for Sauber as well, and with two teams and more data, Honda could have improved even quicker).

McLaren-Honda outpaced quite a few cars with stronger engines last year and sometimes they were “surprisingly” quick on the straights too – this looks like a problem with aero setup. Aerodynamics are much more important in terms of top speed than engine power, a difference of 60 bhp can easily be cached by running flatter wings (that will slow you down in the corners though).

Now they are regularly beaten by Toro Rosso, who they swapped engines with, this is a clear sign that the engine has not been the main problem last year, but the rest of the car. This comes as a hefty surprise to me, as with Peter Prodromou, Newey’s right hand so so speak, they should have a bona-fide aero specialist and this year’s car is the first McLaren that was built under his control. They should be battling with Red Bull by the end of the season, but there’s no way this will happen.

38

As stated before, I think it’s a year to early. But who knows, he might succeed. On the other hand, McL still behaving like a F1 behemoth but clearly not in a good shape. Big risk for him if you ask me.

Then poor Stoffel. I doubt if he gets a seat at TR. If so, this would mean that another talented GP2 champion failed and I still do not understand why tbh.

39

Hope that Lando is already working on where he is going when he is dumped after 1 or 2 years – this is the trend at McLaren with the young drivers. They have not held on to one since Lewis. Minardi (now STR) who never fashioned themselves as a front runner used to give a great start to promising young drivers, whereas McLaren, still somehow dreaming they could be a front runner, tries to finish the careers of young drivers before they get too far.

40

It is a blessing in disguise for Vandoorne if he manages to secure a F1 drive for 2019. It is sad to see what my favorite team Mclaren has become and confirming this year that they are firmly at the bottom of the F1. One can only imagine what a mess Mclaren is right now and I don’t see them getting anyway near the top for years to come. I would say driving for Mclaren is probably the worst choice for any driver rite now. And its rather interesting to compare how cars evolved under the leadership of great Alonso vs Kimi, there has to be something there.

Probably Vandoorne got too friendly with Alonso and didn’t realize that since 2007 when Hamilton got the better of Alonso, probably his only priority was, is to be faster than his teammate. That means drive a sub optimal car and drive around its weakness to show how great he is rather than developing the car to its absolute peak. Obviously, all of the above is just my humble opinion but I don’t think its far from truth.

And I think if Mclaren cared any about Lando Norris then they should have just loaned it to Red Bull for a year. My forecast is that Mclaren is going to be mediocre at best for years to come. Sainz shud have been in Redbull for 2019 but instead he is with Mclaren and Lando Norris please get out of this Mclaren mess asap.

41

Another young driver chewed up and spat out by McLaren. They just don’t seem to know how to nurture young talent anymore.

I still don’t think Norris is ready for F1. He’s been average in F2, being out qualified by both Russel and his teammate more often than not. He only has 1 win, 1 fastest lap. Russel drove circles around him in the feature race at Monza.

Maybe Vandoorne is not the next big thing, but I don’t think Norris is the solution to McLaren’s problems. I foresee him ending up just like Vandoorne, Magnussen, and Perez before him.

42

Twitch, they gave him two years!

43

When Vandoorne got a seat, he said he would show Verstappen that he was better. Well that didn’t work out, did it? All this talk about how bad McLaren is and that he didn’t get a fair shot – I say nonsense. Verstappen drove a car way back in the field as well and managed to make a great impression. Vandoorne had two years, and I can’t think of a single time he made an impression, if only against his team mate. He got his shot, he didn’t manage himself. Next!

44

I cannot remember reading about Stoffel making those statements. Maybe one or two of his fans but not Stoffel Vandoorne.

Furthermore, you cannot be serious about comparing Vandoornes situation to Max when they started. Max had to go up agains another rookie and managed to get the best of him after a few races, whilst Vandoorne had to go up against Alonso, who is arguably the best driver on the grid.

The TR may not have been the best car in 2015\2016 but was not a bad car, while the McLaren has been a drama, for the last 2 or 3 years.

I personally think your perception of the events are hugely disrespectfull towards Vandoorne.

A Max fan

45

I’m only confirming McLaren’s take on it, who have all the data and were clearly not impressed. McLaren gave him two years to prove himself and let him finish the season, that is respectful, not “hugely disrespectful”. Do you know what the good part is of driving back in the field? That you can show yourself, against your teammate and against similar “bad” cars, with great determination, overtaking, etc. It’s a better place for a talent to show his skills than where Red Bull are currently at, in no man’s land. Vandoorne didn’t take that chance. For two years. F1 is the top of the line, it moves on, that’s what makes it top of the line. If you want to give a lollipop to Vandoorne to dull this reality, be my guest though.

46

Well done McLaren. You have picked the 2nd best driver from Renault and put him next to a newbie who replaces the only possible benchmark driver you had left.

You have chosen to lose information and use 2nd best material. This is how you build winning teams…

47

Perez and Magnussen seem to have survived the confidence destroying McLaren experience so good luck to Vandoorne. He deserves better.

48

Surprised that RPFI are going with Perez not Ocon. I suppose he has them over a barrel due to the money he’s owed, and the money he brings.

Ocon a better long-term bet, hope he finds a good seat for 2019.

49

Apparently Perez had agreed a contract with the team before he took them into administration, so the only way he wasn’t going to be there in 2019 was if he had a better opportunity.

50

Unlucky for Stoffel he has never really had a good crack, poor car and terrible reliability. Quite a yard stick to be up against Alonso but then if he is the next best thing and the type of driver Mclaren are after, then he should be up there with Alonso and he simply wasn’t quick enough. Alonso has beaten his recent team mates, Button, Massa and Raikkonen, all class drivers in their twilight who were generally believed to have lost a tenth or two over their heyday. If Stoffel isn’t doing any better than them against Alonso (he is worse) then he isn’t good enough. Is he doing any worse than a few of the other drivers this year, probably not, may be harsh, but it is the Piranha club. There may be chances elsewhere and he may thrive away from Mclaren, I wish him all the best.

51

So… Is the endgame Lando Norris to Torro Rosso and James Key to McLaren? Are Red Bull going to play the game?

52

I hope he does well but I fear the once coveted McLaren seat is now a knife in the back of any young driver’s career.

As to the rest of the young talent squabling over too few seats? Well looks like loads of Formula e seats still open and Indy becones the brave. F1’s loss will be another series gain.

53

I don’t think so. Sainz is not championship material, but he is the more experienced driver and seriously overrated. If Norris can get any close to him, he’s safer than Vandoorne ever was.

54

Will they repeat the dynamic of 2007 and favour the young upstart that should be serving an apprenticship thus undermining the established driver they have just signed as he starts from the disadvantage of getting to know the mclaren structure.

55

Mem, do you think Sainz will demand Lando pulls over and lets him through for a race win? Or suggest that the team deliberately run Lando out of fuel?

Personally I doubt that any of that happens, Carlos doesn’t strike me as much of a megalomaniac, so if Lando turns out to be quicker, then he will probably be man enough to just accept it.

56

I would imagine if push comes to shove they’d prioritise Norris over Sainz

57

Timing iseverything in F1 and Vandorme is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He ia probably just as good as the orhers scrabbling for places but is assocuated with running around at tbe back and as such he is yesterday’s news. F1 likes success stories and does not like failure so babies being thrown out with the bathwater is the inevitably consequence. If MaClaren can’t build a better car, Norris may go the same way in a couple of years but there are few top rides available so the newcomers have to take their chances and hope that matters outside their control change in their favour!

58

Let’s face it: Vandoorne came in hyped as a new prodigy but all his past successes couldn’t help him. He seriously underperformed against Alonso. This is hardly what Hamilton did to Alonso or Ricciardo did to Vettel.

59

Something of a poison chalice methinks.

Can’t see McL going anywhere with Zak at the wheel. I think this is where the change should come.

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