It has today been announced that Lando Norris will join the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship for his first full season. And the 17-year-old is well prepared for this step up. He is the reigning Toyota Racing Series, Formula Renault Eurocup and NEC Champion and also gained some experience in FIA F3 this year. In addition to already competing in this year’s FIA F3 European Championship season finale at Hockenheim, he has also taken part in one of the most challenging F3 races, the FIA F3 World Cup in Macau this year.
The young talent has a strong link to team Carlin, 2017 will already mark the third year competing for the British squad. Norris won the British MSA Formula in a Carlin car in 2015 and also competed in the 2016 BRDC British Formula Three Championship with them.
The announcement comes following Norris being named the latest McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner at the 2016 Autosport Awards. The prize will see him test a McLaren Formula One car as well as become a part of their simulator programme.
Norris commented on the signing, “I’m very excited to be joining Carlin and can’t wait to contest the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. My aim is simple and the same as at the start of every season – I want to win the championship title outright. Although it’s my ‘rookie’ F3 season, I’m totally confident with the ‘package’ – the team and Volkswagen. I believe I have what it takes to challenge for the title in my first full season of F3 racing especially after the pace we showed at Hockenheim and Macau.” He added, “The competition will be tough, it’s an ultra-competitive series, of that there is no doubt. Many of the drivers I’m up against will be in at least their second year in the category so will have a lot of F3 experience on the tracks we’ll be racing on. There will be a couple of circuits totally new to me but this year in Renault I learnt them quickly. If, in my first year, the outright F3 title is not within my grasp, it won’t be for the want of trying and then winning the ‘rookie’ title is an absolute must. It’ll be my third season racing for Carlin – I feel very comfortable and at ease with them and we all get along very well.”
Racing director Trevor Carlin is delighted with the signing, he commented, “We are very pleased and proud that Lando and his management have chosen to stay with the team for a third season, and I’d like to thank them for the trust they’ve placed in our FIA F3 team after two very promising outings in Hockenheim and Macau. Lando is an incredibly exciting young driver and has already shown in his short career his talent, dedication and work ethic. We very much look forward to working with him again in 2017 and showing what we can achieve together in FIA F3.”
Lando Norris is the third driver Carlin has so far announced for their 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship campaign, the Briton will join Force India junior Jehan Daruvala from India and Austrian Ferdinand Habsburg.