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Norris promotion 'to be made official in Brazil'

Lando Norris, McLaren
© McLaren

Lando Norris will be officially confirmed as McLaren's 2018 test and reserve driver next weekend in Brazil, according to reports from the Press Association.

Norris is reportedly due to arrive in Sao Paulo on Sunday evening to take part in a two-day Pirelli tyre test following the Brazilian Grand Prix.

He made his first official F1 outing during August's in-season test at the Hungaroring. He finished his day in the MCL32 second only to Sebastian Vettel

However, a McLaren spokesperson refused to confirm that the announcement was imminent. "The team is not in a position to confirm anything at this time," they said.

However the move would be little surprise. It's been widely believed for some time that Norris will take over the position currently held by Jenson Button.

The Sommerset-born racer was appointed to the McLaren young driver programme at the start of the year. He clinched the European Formula 3 championship title last month at Hockenheim.

Lewis Hamilton won the same title in 2005, and went on to make his Formula 1 début at the start of 2007.

"I kind of look up to Lewis, not as a hero, but as a very good driver who is very fast," Norris said last month. "He is a driver I support, in terms of him being British, and I want him to win, but he isn't an idol to me."

Norris will combine his role at McLaren with a full season in the Formula 2 championship, won this year by Charles Leclerc.

He will also take part in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona alongside Fernando Alonso. He will be driving for United Autosport, the LMP2 team co-owned by McLaren executive director Zak Brown.

“To say I’m looking forward to this is an understatement," he tweeted last week.

Before then he will try to clinch the prestigious Macau Grand Prix with the Carlin team in November.

Norris turns 18 the day after the Brazilian race. That's the minimum age for a driver to hold a Formula 1 superlicence under recently revised regulations.

"Our current plan is to put him in Formula 2," Brown said recently of the team's plans for 2018. "I certainly think he's fast enough to be in Formula 1 but we don't want to rush things."

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