McLaren Formula 1 youngster Lando Norris continued his stunning 2017 season by wrapping up the FIA European Formula 3 title on Saturday at Hockenheim with two races to spare.
Norris, 17, missed out on the chance to clinch the championship at the previous round in Austria following a last lap clash, but entered the first of three races at Hockenheim on Saturday with the odds stacked heavily in his favor.
The McLaren-backed Briton finished second in the opening leg of the Hockenheim weekend behind Joel Eriksson, scoring the required points to move into an unassailable lead with two races remaining.
The title victory comes in Norris’ first year in the competitive F3 series that has produced drivers such as Max Verstappen, Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll in recent years.
It also marks Norris’ fifth junior title in the space of just three years, following successes in MSA Formula, Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0, Formula Renault 2.0 NEC and the Toyota Racing Series.
“It’s been a fantastically successful year and a season in which it hopefully takes me closer to realizing my Formula 1 dream,” Norris said.
“Carlin gave me a fast, competitive car from the opening event at Silverstone and my thanks go to Trevor [Carlin] and his amazing crew.
“I’m loving my role as a McLaren Young Driver, spending time in the simulator at the McLaren Technology Centre and attending some Grands Prix with the team. Winning this title can only help me become an F1 driver.”
Norris enjoyed his first F1 test with McLaren earlier this year during the collective running at the Hungaroring, putting in an impressive display for the British team.
McLaren is planning to place Norris in Formula 2 for 2018, with the championship traditionally acting as the final stepping stone before F1.