McLaren's Norris also coveted by Red Bull and Mercedes


McLaren junior Lando Norris is hailed as one of motorsport's brightest future talents, a prospect justified by the 17-year-old's impressive credentials which include four titles in his first two seasons of single-seater racing.

As the recipient of the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, Norris will enjoy an F1 test with McLaren, a dedicated fitness program, paid simulator work and the opportunity of being a member of McLaren's junior roster.

Norris revealed that before teaming up with the Woking-based outfit, exploratory talks were also held with other F1 teams.

"We had a few discussions with a few teams - Red Bull, Renault and Mercedes," Norris told Autosport.

"It wasn't so much on just wanting to get on a junior programme, it was more about getting to know what they could offer and what opportunities they could offer in the future.

"In that sense, McLaren was by far the best. I'm not saying the others are bad, but McLaren being based in England is a huge positive, and they have more opportunities for the future.

"If Honda were to get more teams, I'd like to say that could open up [some chances]."

The young hopeful graduated to Formula 3 this season and hit the ground running by winning the opening race with Carlin.

Norris explained the main differences which led to the decision to join McLaren.

"With Red Bull, it doesn't seem like the drivers have the most control over what goes on, Helmut Marko obviously plays a huge role in deciding who does what and where.

"They have two teams [in F1], but unless you're the next [Max] Verstappen, you're not going to be put straight in a Red Bull seat.

"McLaren has the best record of getting young drivers into F1, they have a programme for them in terms of the sim, physical training, getting to know the engineers and everything.

"Whereas it seems, in some of the others, there seems to be less interaction. You have the name 'young driver', and that's more or less it.

"McLaren offer a lot more, and believe in their drivers when they have the chance to get to F1."

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