Norris: I have to win F2 as rookie to prove I'm as good as Leclerc

McLaren Formula 1 junior Lando Norris says he must win the 2018 Formula 2 title if he is to prove he is as good as newly-crowned second-tier champion Charles Leclerc

Norris: I have to win F2 as rookie to prove I'm as good as Leclerc

Norris, the 2017 European Formula 3 champion in his rookie year in the category, will step up to F2 next season with Carlin.

Ferrari junior Leclerc won this year's F2 championship in his first season in the F1 support series, taking seven wins and eight pole positions with Prema.

The two champions shared a track at the F2 season finale in Abu Dhabi, where Norris was asked if he viewed 2018 as a one-year shot to move up to F1 - as Leclerc is expected to do with Sauber next season.

"Leclerc has done it this year so if I want to beat or prove I'm just as a good then I'm going to have to win [the title as a rookie]," said Norris, who competed in the final round of the F2 season with Campos.

"I think that's the main thing - I don't think there's any point in going for second or third.

"It's hard to know what drivers are staying and doing another year - who is going to be experienced and who is new.

"It all changes but winning the championship would be the aim.

"After that, I couldn't really say what I would want to do or what I would choose to do - if I didn't win then [I'd] presume another year [in F2], but if I did I can't do another year."

Norris scored a best finish of 13th in the sprint race in Abu Dhabi after an engine problem stopped him in the feature event.

"They've been very good, better than I expected," Norris said of Campos.

"As a team they're very focused, they have a lot of information, the engineers are very good, and they try hard.

"They've definitely exceeded my expectations."

F2 tyres harder to adapt to than F1 rubber

After sampling an F2 car competitively for the first time, Norris - who has already completed F1 testing mileage with McLaren - was asked to compare the second-tier machinery to other cars he has driven.

The 18-year-old pointed out that the Hankook tyres used in European F3 were more durable, but that the F2 Pirellis were more of a struggle to adapt to compared to the rubber used in F1.

"[It's] a lot more power from anything I've driven before, apart from the F1 car," he said.

"The tyre is one of the biggest things - with the Hankooks you could push 99% of the race and [with] the Pirellis you can push for a couple of laps and then you need to start saving.

"It's not easy just going from one extreme to the other, basically.

"The F2 tyres are probably one of the hardest things to adapt too.

"[They are] harder than the F1 Pirellis were to get used too."

shares
comments
Prema completes 2018 Formula 2 line-up with McLaren's Nyck de Vries

Previous article

Prema completes 2018 Formula 2 line-up with McLaren's Nyck de Vries

Next article

Honda junior Fukuzumi in line for F2 graduation with Arden for 2018

Honda junior Fukuzumi in line for F2 graduation with Arden for 2018
Load comments
How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss Plus

How Campos Racing has bounced back from its devastating loss

After the sudden death of its founder in January, Formula 2 stalwart Campos Racing was left facing its hardest season to date. But new team boss Adrian Jr is determined to honour his father’s legacy and has returned the team to its winning ways

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived Plus

How F2 and F3's flawed format changes could prove shortlived

After a chaotic 2020, marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the FIA brought in radical changes to Formula 2 and 3. But less than 12 months later, there are talks of them being reversed after all did not go to plan…

FIA F2
Sep 9, 2021
The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds Plus

The Red Bull F1 junior aiming to defy geographical odds

It's a long way from Pukekohe New Zealand to Milton Keynes, but Red Bull's Kiwi protege Liam Lawson has defied plenty of odds to reach the rung below F1. He's endured disappointment since winning on his F2 debut in Bahrain, but is determined to turn his season around and prove himself worthy of a place in F1

FIA F2
Jul 27, 2021
How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season Plus

How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season

Having impressed in Formula 3, Juri Vips looked to be next cab off the rank in Red Bull's prestigious Junior Team before his 2020 schedule was dealt a heavy blow by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a tough start to life in Formula 2, Vips is showing signs of a recovery - could he be the first Estonian to reach Formula 1?

FIA F2
Jun 14, 2021
The making of an F1 hopeful re-writing the F2 record books Plus

The making of an F1 hopeful re-writing the F2 record books

He'd marked himself out as a star of the future in last year's FIA Formula 3 championship, but 17-year-old Theo Pourchaire underlined his credentials by winning his first Formula 2 race in the Monaco feature. Sauber junior status gives him a clear route to the top, but with wisdom beyond his years, he's not getting caught up in his own hype

FIA F2
Jun 3, 2021
The 10 greatest F2 races contested by F1 drivers Plus

The 10 greatest F2 races contested by F1 drivers

Formula 2 used to be about more than providing a stepping stone to F1. For three decades it often provided another setting for the world’s best to fight it out. Autosport picks out the very best races

FIA F2
May 16, 2021
The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive Plus

The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive

Having lost his backing from Red Bull, Richard Verschoor has had to graft to continue his ascent up the single-seater ladder. An impressive Formula 2 debut in Bahrain, despite the lateness of his deal, shows his unorthodox approach is paying dividends

FIA F2
Apr 22, 2021
Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success? Plus

Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success?

Going into the 2021 Formula 2 season the biggest talking point wasn’t about any drivers or teams, but the new race weekend format. Created partly out of financial necessity but also to spice up the action, the Bahrain opener provided a snapshot of the positives and negatives to come

FIA F2
Apr 4, 2021