Rookie Lando Norris’ impressive form alongside Carlos Sainz at McLaren this year has been rewarded, following his confirmation alongside the Spaniard at the iconic British team for the 2020 Formula 1 season.
Norris has started the last two races from fifth on the grid, scoring points in both Grands Prix, while Sainz, who like Norris joined McLaren this season on a multi-year deal, has scored in five of the last six to sit seventh in the drivers’ standings.
Together, they have helped McLaren move to a comfortable fourth in the constructors’ championship, 20 points clear of Renault, and marking them out as the fourth-fastest package – a big improvement on last season.
McLaren say the duo have “integrated well into the team over the past nine months” and that “retaining both drivers for 2020 echoes the team’s commitment to consistency and continuity, which are key pillars of the team’s return to competitiveness”.
Speaking about the announcement, Team Principal Andreas Seidl said: “Today’s announcement provides the team with the continuity to keep pushing forward. The performance of both Carlos and Lando have been a key part of the team’s progress. Their feedback has enabled our engineers to develop the MCL34 and look ahead to the MCL35.
“Carlos has played a key role in developing the car using his experience, while Lando has got up to speed with the demands of Formula 1 incredibly quickly and is growing in confidence every weekend. This is welcome news for the whole McLaren team and we look forward to continuing our partnership together.”
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown added: “I’m delighted we’re able to announce our 2020 driver line-up ahead of the team’s home race at the British Grand Prix this weekend. Both Carlos and Lando are proving themselves as racers and are integral to our path to recovery. They have made a real contribution to the positive momentum and morale within the team, both at the track and back at the factory.”
The news also means that if McLaren ambassador Fernando Alonso wishes to make a racing return to F1 next season, he would need to do so with another team on the grid.