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Lando Norris: British driver, 18, given Belgium GP practice drive by McLaren

Lando Norris won the European Formula Three title last year



British teenager Lando Norris will make his Friday practice debut for McLaren at this week's Belgium Grand Prix.

The 18-year-old will deputise for Fernando Alonso in first practice after the double world champion announced he would retire at the end of the season.

Norris, from Glastonbury in Somerset, is the reserve driver for McLaren.

His Spa-Francorchamps drive will be his first at a full grand prix weekend and a chance to stake a claim for a 2019 race seat.

Fellow Spaniard Carlos Sainz will replace Alonso at McLaren next season, but the identity of the team's second driver is unclear, with the British outfit not certain to retain Stoffel Vandoorne.

Norris was approached by Toro Rosso in June to replace Brendon Hartley for the rest of this season, but McLaren refused.

McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran said: "This is not only part of his ongoing development, but also the evaluation and performance evolution of the car.

"We'll be taking a strategic view race-by-race at where else this might be beneficial for us over the coming grands prix."

Norris won the European Formula Three championship in 2017 and this year sits second in the Formula Two championship, the feeder series to F1.

The F1 season resumes in Belgium following its one-month summer break with Hamilton holding a 24-point lead over Sebastian Vettel.

-- Courtesy of BBC Sport


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