McLaren has announced that it will head into next season with an unchanged driver line-up
McLaren has been one of the good news stories of F1 in 2019 - the MCL34 is starting to consistently emerge as the car to beat in the midfield, new team principal Andreas Seidl seems to have a firm grip on how to move the team forward, and the drivers are doing a great job of providing solid memes.
That’s why McLaren has decided to shore up its driver line-up for next year early with the confirmation that both Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz will continue with the Woking squad into 2020. It probably also has something to do with the fact that both are driver very well but, in Lando’s case at least, let’s just pretend its because of the memes. McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said of the decision:
“Both Carlos and Lando are proving themselves as racers and are integral to our path to recovery. They have made a real contribution to the positive momentum and morale within the team, both at the track and back at the factory. The reception they’ve received from our fans has been outstanding and they are superb ambassadors for the McLaren brand.”
Although it’s only a one-year extension for both Sainz and Norris, that’s less down to uncertainty over either being a proper long-term prospect and more to do with the incoming 2021 regulation changes - everyone’s gotta keep their options open, yo!
Plus, both drivers have been doing superbly on-track. Sainz has been a known quantity for a while and seems to have settled in well at McLaren - his third team in less than two seasons - and a touch of stability should only see him improve.
Norris, meanwhile, has not only quickly established himself as a fan-favourite but also bucked the recent trend of young, talented McLaren drivers struggling to deliver on their promises.
If McLaren can continue its upward trend, the team should be able to rely on this pairing to deliver some solid results - plus, it’ll stop some of the other teams sniffing around.