Carlin: McLaren's Norris taking risk with us as 'unproven' F2 team

Trevor Carlin says McLaren Formula 1 junior Lando Norris' decision to sign with his Formula 2 team for 2018 is a calculated risk because the returning second-tier squad is "unproven"

Carlin: McLaren's Norris taking risk with us as 'unproven' F2 team

Carlin left the main F1 feeder series after finishing 10th in the 2016 GP2 teams' standings, and ran its 2015 MSA Formula champion Norris to the European Formula 3 title.

Norris said racing with Carlin in F2 would be "a risk" before he signed and when asked by Autosport why he thought Norris felt that way, Carlin said: "[It's] because we're unproven - so of course it's a risk.

"[But] he thinks it's a risk worth taking. And that's a testament to him - he's prepared to work hard.

"He might have to work harder with us to get results than he would of, for instance, [at] Prema or ART.

"So full marks to him for being prepared to help be part of a new project and help lead it.

"It is a risk on his part, it really is, but we all know how good he is - so if he doesn't do well then the responsibility is on our shoulders and we're fully prepared to accept that."

Carlin said signing Norris, who will race in F2 alongside 2017 Spa sprint race winner Sergio Sette Camara, was "absolutely 100%" what convinced his team to return to the second-tier category.

"There was no point in us re-joining the championship in the way we left it - with average drivers and average budgets," he explained.

"We wanted to have decent drivers and decent budgets. And that's the only way to compete in F2.

"When you've got two drivers that push each other in a good, well-funded team then you can run at the front.

"Prema proved that last year - certainly with [Antonio] Giovinazzi and [Pierre] Gasly, that was a super-strong driver line-up and they pushed each other like hell - and the results, the proof is in the pudding

"Serigo is experienced, a race winner and he's a fast driver.

"He's done a good job - he had a plan to learn about F2 this year, which he's done."

Carlin said it would aid the team ahead of the expected move to replace GP3 with a single-spec international F3 series from 2019.

"We're sort of thinking ahead," he said.

"If F3 goes on the F1 support package, it makes sense in 2019 that we are there with F3 and F2.

"We've sort of done the F2 thing to make sure the F3 thing is seamless as well.

"[It's] all part of the FIA's ladder and there is no point in us going there and doing F3 but not doing F2, so you have to do F2 first and do then F3.

"In a years' time, it will look all very logical and sensible."

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