McLaren racing director Eric Boullier was quick to heap praise upon British youngster Lando Norris following an impressive maiden Formula 1 test with the team in Hungary on Wednesday.
Norris, 17, finished his first day in the McLaren-Honda MCL32 second-fastest, only trailing Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, racking up 91 laps in the process.
Norris joined McLaren’s junior program at the beginning of the year and currently races in the FIA European Formula 3 series, but relished the opportunity to impress in a 2017-spec F1 car.
“It was a great experience driving a 2017 McLaren-Honda. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to learn and further develop as a driver,” Norris said.
“It was good to drive at a track I’d been to before and it was pleasing to get up to speed with the current McLaren-Honda. I was also present earlier in the week and it was interesting to watch the team work from the sidelines while I picked up valuable information from Stoffel [Vandoorne] who was behind the wheel on those days.
“I managed to get through all the tests that the team asked me to complete, and everything went well. Getting used to the car was a bit of a challenge at first but by the end of the day I felt very comfortable. I got a lot of laps under my belt and I really enjoyed the experience.
“Big thanks to the team for giving me this opportunity. Hopefully it will be the first of many.”
Boullier added: “Lando has impressed us all with his maturity, professionalism and speed, and has got to grips very quickly with the car in only his first outing in the MCL32.
“His feedback with the engineers has been valuable and accurate, and he’s certainly an asset to our test driver line-up, not to mention a potential star of the future.”