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Rising British star Norris set for F1 test after winning McLaren Autosport BRDC Award

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Rising British racing star Lando Norris will enjoy a Formula 1 test in 2017 after winning the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award.

Norris, 17, was champion in both the Eurocup and NEC Formula Renault 2.0 series in 2016, as well as picking up the Toyota Racing Series title in the winter.

The youngster is set to move into the FIA F3 European Championship for 2017, a series that has recently helped launch the careers of Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon, both of whom are now racing in Formula 1.

Norris was shortlisted for the McLaren Autosport BRDC Award alongside four other rising British racers, before being named as the winner at the Autosport Awards in London last Sunday.

The award sees Norris receive an F1 test with McLaren during the 2017 season, with the previous winner being Will Palmer, younger brother of current grand prix racer Jolyon.

Other names to have won the award include David Coulthard (1989), Dario Franchitti (1992), Jenson Button (1998) and Paul di Resta (2004).

“I’m honestly overwhelmed to win this prestigious prize that caps off an incredibly successful season for me,” Norris said.

“The McLaren prizes can only help me in my quest to ultimately reach Formula 1. It’s now my job to keep working hard and stay focused to achieve this goal.”

BRDC president and former F1 driver Derek Warwick added: “Lando has had an amazing season, especially considering he was only 16-years-old until last month. He was quick in the GT3 and DTM cars but was absolutely stunning in the Formula 2 single-seater.

“He definitely has a great career in front of him. Lando’s a future F1 driver and I believe a future F1 World Champion.”

Max Verstappen shows speed in Austria; Lewis Hamilton lacking pace

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SPIELBERG, Austria — Red Bull driver Max Verstappen posted the fastest time Friday, and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton lacked pace in the second practice session for the Styrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen was 0.043 seconds quicker than Valtteri Bottas – Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes – and 0.217 ahead of Racing Point driver Sergio Perez.

“The car already feels better than last week, the balance is a lot nicer and we have made a good step,” said Verstappen, who did not finish last Sunday’s season-opening Austrian GP after starting from second.

“It is too early to say how we are looking against Mercedes, but we are quite happy. We have tried a few different directions to understand the car a bit more and we are heading the right way.”

Hamilton was only sixth fastest, about 0.7 seconds slower than Verstappen. Hamilton spent a chunk of time in the garage while his team worked on his car.

“It was quite far off, so there’s a lot of work to do in the background to figure it out,” he said. “Others out there are quick and Valtteri’s obviously got good pace.”

Despite adding a new front wing to its car, struggling Ferrari had a dismal afternoon.

Charles Leclerc was only ninth quickest and 1 second slower than Verstappen, while teammate Sebastian Vettel lagged about 2 seconds behind Verstappen in 16th.

Daniel Ricciardo lost control of his Renault car early into the second session, swerving left off the track and thudding backward into a protective tire wall. He climbed out unharmed, other than a slight limp, but the left rear tire was mangled and the car was lifted off the track by a crane.

Alexander Albon spun twice, the Red Bull driver’s second spin taking him right off the track and into gravel.

Earlier, Perez was fastest in the first practice ahead of Verstappen and Bottas, with Hamilton fourth quickest and Vettel only 10th in sunny conditions.

That session was briefly interrupted when Nicholas Latifi’s Williams car pulled over to the side with a gearbox issue.

The incident brought out yellow flags, forcing drivers to slow down. But McLaren driver Lando Norris overtook Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri and got a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.

Norris, 20, finished third at the Austrian GP last weekend, becoming the youngest British driver in F1 history to get on the podium and third youngest in F1.

The upcoming race is changing names from last week but is at the same track. It is surrounded by the Styrian mountains.

A third and final practice will be held on Saturday morning before qualifying in the afternoon, with heavy rain and storms in the forecast.

If third practice and qualifying are washed out, drivers take their grid positions from where they placed in second practice.

“It would definitely suck if we didn’t get to qualify,” said Hamilton, who started fifth and finished fourth last weekend. “It would make it challenging.”

However, qualifying also could be moved to Sunday morning.

“I don’t expect to be on pole position with this (practice) lap,” Verstappen said.