Life has not changed much just yet, ad­mits West star Nor­ris

Western Daily Press - - Sport -

LANDO Nor­ris has not spo­ken to Lewis Hamil­ton since his pro­mo­tion to McLaren’s race team was an­nounced, writes Philip Dun­can.

Nor­ris, who turns 19 next month, will be­come Bri­tain’s youngest-ever F1 driver at next sea­son’s cur­tain­raiser in Mel­bourne, Aus­tralia.

The English teenager has fol­lowed a sim­i­lar path to Hamil­ton, win­ning the pres­ti­gious F3 cham­pi­onship last year, while also be­ing hired by McLaren.

He will be­come the first Bri­tish rookie to race for the Wok­ing team since Hamil­ton burst on to the scene nearly a dozen years ago.

“I don’t have Lewis’s num­ber,” Nor­ris said. “I don’t think I have ever spo­ken to Lewis, maybe once.

“It would be nice to be­cause he is a cool guy.”

Hamil­ton is on the brink of be­com­ing a five-time world cham­pion af­ter mov­ing 67 points clear of Se­bas­tian Vet­tel with just 100 re­main­ing. In­deed, his ti­tle coro­na­tion could take place in Amer­ica a week on Sun­day.

Nor­ris will join Hamil­ton as the sec­ond Bri­tish driver on the grid in 2019, while Ge­orge Rus­sell, the 20-year-old Mercedes ju­nior who is on course to win the For­mula Two cham­pi­onship, the feeder se­ries to F1, is hope­ful of mak­ing it a Bri­tish trio by join­ing Wil­liams.

Nor­ris’ pro­mo­tion was an­nounced af­ter last month’s Ital­ian Grand Prix. He will team up with Car­los Sainz, who is join­ing the strug­gling Bri­tish out­fit from Re­nault.

Nor­ris added: “Life has not changed for me that much. In terms of every­thing I do here at the track, and every­thing I do back at the McLaren factory, it is all sim­i­lar.

“The main thing, is you have more peo­ple ask­ing for pho­to­graphs and au­to­graphs. I feel more re­laxed and that is a big thing, too. For in­stance, it was nice know­ing that when I went out in Ja­pan for prac­tice, it wasn’t like I had to nail this, and nail that.”

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