McLaren chief Zak Brown is upbeat about his team signing 19-year-old Lando Norris to race for them in 2019, an outfit notorious for destroying the careers of young drivers not least that of Stoffel Vandoorne who the young Englishman replaces in the team.
Word is Brown is part of Norris’ management team thus it was in his best interests to hire the youngster who had an option to ditch McLaren had he not been on the grid this year.
Perhaps more than the likes of Stoffel Vandoorne, Kevin Magnussen and Sergio Perez, Norris will be well looked after and given time to dial himself into the top flight.
Brown told The Sun, “Formula One can be a pretty cruel environment. We need to manage expectations, not after three races, and pass judgment, which we as a sport are pretty quick to do.”
“Lando is clearly extremely talented. We have seen him in our race car a good amount now so we need to nurture him, manage expectations and give him the equipment to show his talent. He will definitely be given time to develop.”
Once highly rated Vandoorne was demolished by teammate Fernando Alonso in the sister car, next year Norris is up against Carlos Sainz who is no Alonso. In fact, the Spaniard was rejected by Renault and Red Bull, McLaren his last option.
Nevertheless, he has the experience and Norris will be judged against Sainz first and foremost.
Brown explained, “It is a high-pressure environment and the first thing anyone does in Formula 1 is compare you to your team-mate. We know Carlos is an extremely quick and experienced driver so Lando’s first measure will be against him.
“We expect them to race each other hard, cleanly and, for sure, they need to get the measure of each other from time to time,” added Brown who now has to hope his headless and rather rag-tag technical team provide their young drivers with a decent car.