McLaren junior Lando Norris crowned 2017 European F3 champion
Carlin’s Lando Norris has been crowned the 2017 FIA European Formula 3 champion, with two races to spare in the final weekend at Hockenheim.
The McLaren junior could have sealed the title in the penultimate round at Red Bull Ring, but for a last lap tangle with HitechGP’s Ralf Aron and a subsequent fifth place finish for Prema’s Maximilian Gunther, pushed the championship fight into the finale.
Gunther’s hopes to challenge Norris dashed when the German only qualified 11th for Race 1, while the British driver was second on the road behind Prema’s Callum Ilott.
The 23-lap race churned out with Norris finishing second to Motopark’s Joel Eriksson, after battles with Ilott and teammate Ferdinand Habsburg - which was enough to hand him the title.
The British driver’s nine wins and 11 podiums in the season, means he has now a total of 429 points to Gunther’s 340 - after the German only managed a 10th place finish in the race.
This is Norris’ fifth title in three years after wins in MSA Formula 4 in 2015, followed by Toyota Racing Series in 2016 together with titles in Formula Renault 2.0 NEC and Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0.
The young driver also sealed the rookie title from teammate and Force India protégé Jehan Daruvala, having scored 585 points with 20 wins to the Indian’s 504.
With the F3 title in his pockets, Norris has been tipped for a Formula 1 reserve driver role with McLaren in 2018 replacing Jenson Button. The British driver is also expected to compete in the FIA Formula 2 Championship.