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Solberg offers rally car outing to McLaren F1 star Norris

World Rally Championship driver Oliver Solberg has offered Formula 1 driver Lando Norris an outing in a rally car after the McLaren driver revealed a desire to try the discipline.

Oliver Solberg, Elliott Edmondson, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Austral / Hyundai Motorsport

Norris has carved a out a successful single seater racing career that has seen him climb through the UK national ranks before landing a seat at McLaren in 2019, and is currently seventh in the championship standings ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

While his career has been centred around circuit racing, Norris declared an interest in rallying in an Autosport interview last week. 

The wish to drive a rally car was sparked from recently experiencing rallying from the sidelines during a shoot for the launch of a new apparel line for Quadrant, his gaming and racing brand, that had an off-road theme, which included filming with a rally car.

Following the publication of the story, Hyundai factory WRC driver Solberg, the son of 2003 world champion Petter Solberg, quickly took to social media to offer Norris an outing in one of several rally cars at his family home in Sweden.

Speaking to Autosport in the Ypres Rally Belgium service park last weekend, the 20-year-old said he was keen to follow through with his offer to Norris.

“If he wants to come to the farm in Sweden we have a lot of rally cars hanging around, if he wants to come a drive a bit, for sure,” said Solberg.

“I can send him message him Monday morning and ask him to come to drive a rally car.

“He is a super good driver and super talented, so I’m sure he will do great in a rally car as well, as long as I can have a go in his Formula 1 car as well,” he smiled.

Lando Norris, McLaren

Lando Norris, McLaren

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

WRC squad M-Sport are also keen to accommodate Norris after the 22-year-old visited the team’s facility in Cumbria, UK to conduct his Quadrant shoot.

Team principal Richard Millener is also open to offering Norris an outing in a rally car in the future.

“I wasn’t at work the day that Lando came to visit sadly as it would have been lovely to meet him,” Millener told Autosport.

“A few of the guys that used to work for us and now work for McLaren have mentioned that he was really excited after that day.

“He wasn’t in a position to be able to drive a car at that point but I do believe he would love to have a go in a car and I think that would be great for the team.

“He seems like a really fun and approachable guy so you never now. It would always be nice to do these sort of things.”

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Norris would not be the first F1 driver to give rallying a go in recent years. Current Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas has appeared in the Arctic Rally on a couple of occasions, while 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen took part in a number of WRC events during his break from F1 in 2010 and 2011.

Alfa Romeo reserve driver Robert Kubica also competed in rallying alongside his F1 career, suffering serious injuries to his right forearm in a 2011 crash, and won the 2013 WRC2 crown during his F1 hiatus.

Jos Verstappen, a veteran of 106 F1 starts, made his WRC debut last weekend in Belgium driving a Rally2 specification Citroen C3, which he drove to 60th overall.

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