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Lando Norris joins Carlin in Formula 2 for 2018 season

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McLaren youngster Lando Norris will move into Formula 2 for the 2018 season with Carlin, continuing his long-running partnership with the British team.

Norris, 18, won the FIA European Formula 3 title in 2017 as a rookie with Carlin in a competitive field, before signing off from the category with a podium finish in the Macau Grand Prix last weekend.

Norris was confirmed as McLaren’s official reserve and test driver in Formula 1 for 2018 earlier this month after an impressive test showing in July, and will balance these duties with a full-season F2 campaign.

Norris made his F2 debut in Abu Dhabi on Saturday with Campos in order to gain more experience in the series ahead of a full-time move for 2018, which was confirmed on Sunday.

“I’m going into 2018 unquestionably aiming to achieve more success by winning races. But 2018 will also be a big learning year,” Norris said.

“Getting experience of the increased power, enhanced aerodynamics, the [Pirelli] tires, the mandatory pit-stops and competing at new tracks like Bahrain, Baku and Sochi.

“It’s an educational year, I’ll be new to Formula 2 while Carlin is returning after a season out of the category. I’ll also be up against some very experienced F2 drivers. I’m hopeful it will work to our advantage that 2018 sees a newly designed [Dallara] car being raced for the first time since 2011.

“It’ll be my fourth year competing with Carlin. Trevor heads up a great operation at Carlin and I feel part of the ‘family’ there. It’s a friendly environment and one in which I feel very comfortable in.”

Norris will partner Sergio Sette Camara at Carlin next season, with the Brazilian also being confirmed by the team in Sunday’s announcement.

Carlin will return to F2 for 2018 after one season away, having last raced in the category when it was known as GP2 before being rebranded for this year.

BREAKING: John Force taken to hospital after Phoenix eliminations crash

Photo courtesy NHRA
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16-time NHRA Funny Car champ John Force has been taken to a local hospital for evaluation and examination following a wicked crash with fellow Funny Car driver Johnnie Lindberg.

The crash occurred during the quarterfinals of Sunday’s final eliminations in the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in suburban Phoenix.

Force was headed for a win when the engine on his Peak Chevrolet Camaro blew up just as it crossed the finish line, destroying the body. Lindberg, meanwhile, lost traction about one-third of the way down-track, but then got back into the gas to try and catch Force.

Force appeared to lose control of the body-less car and went across from the left lane he was in to the right-hand lane, where he hit the retaining wall in front of Lindberg.

Lindberg tried to avoid Force, but couldn’t. To make matters worse, the body on Lindberg’s car then came off and Force’s and Lindberg’s cars got tangled up in Lindberg’s parachute, sending both chassis’ into the left retaining wall.

Lindberg emerged from his Funny Car under his own power and was checked at the medical center before heading back to his pit.

Force, meanwhile, was helped out of his mangled wreck by the NHRA Safety Safari and was transported by ambulance to the hospital due to the severity of the impact.

Even though Force will be credited with the round win, he obviously will not be able to continue for the remainder of the eliminations.

To add insult to injury, NHRA officials charged Force with oiling down the racetrack, his third of the season in just the first two races. That will cost him 15 points in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings and a fine of $4,000.

Here are several posts from social media, including video of the incident from NHRA:

This is the second time Force has had an engine explode and the body blew off in the last two weeks. He also wrecked during the qualifying Feb. 9 for the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California. Here’s the video of that wreck:

MORE: John Force taken to hospital as a precaution after Funny Car motor explodes.

We’ll update Force’s condition when it becomes available.

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