Formula 1 reserve driver Lando Norris expressed his commitment to McLaren on Wednesday in the wake of reports that Red Bull-owned Toro Rosso wanted to draft him in as a replacement for New Zealander Brendon Hartley.
Norris, 18, is leading the Formula Two championship and seen by former world champions McLaren as a bright prospect for the future.
“I’m flattered by the stories but I’m focused on F2 and committed to McLaren,” said the teenager. “I leave this sort of thing to my management.”
Reports emerged in Italy after the Monaco Grand Prix that Toro Rosso, who last year loaned their Spanish driver Carlos Sainz to Renault, had Norris in their sights as a possible replacement for Hartley.
The Kiwi, who won the Le Mans 24 Hours and World Endurance (WEC) title with Porsche last year, made his Formula One debut late last season but has made mistakes and underperformed compared to French teammate Pierre Gasly.
McLaren is said to have considered the ‘loan’ offer but the two teams could not agree on conditions for Norris to drive for Toro Rosso.
Big Question: Should McLaren and Lando have grabbed the chance to start getting F1 experience earlier than planned?