McLaren prodigy Lando Norris says winning F2 title would prove he's ready for F1 in 2019

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British teenage sensation Lando Norris believes winning Formula 2 at the first attempt would prove he is ready to make the step-up to Formula One.

The 18-year-old claimed nine victories as he stormed to the European F3 title in 2017 and was subsequently named as McLaren's reserve driver for the upcoming 2018 F1 season. Alongside his test duties this year, Norris will contest the F2 championship with Carlin.

Following his meteoric rise through the junior ranks and impressive performances in test outings in McLaren's 2017 challenger, Norris has been dubbed a "star of the future" by McLaren and is tipped to make it all the way to F1. Ferrari protégé Charles Leclerc will make his F1 debut with Sauber in 2018 after a dominant rookie title campaign in F2 last season, and Norris insists he will have to pull off a similar feat to prove his calibre.

"I expect to win it [F2]," Norris said. "Leclerc's done it, so if I want to beat him or prove I'm just as good, then I'm going to have to win. I think that's the main thing. I don't think there's any point going for second or third.

"Of course it's hard to know what drivers are staying on for 2018 and doing another year and who's going to be experienced and who's new. So it all changes. But I think winning the championship would be the aim."

Norris took part in the Abu Dhabi finale with Campos last year in preparation for his rookie season in 2018, retiring from the feature race before going on to finish 13th in Sunday's sprint race. He later admitted adapting to F2's car and Pirelli tyres proved more difficult than he expected, and reckons getting up to speed quickly will be his biggest challenge when the season starts.

"It's a lot more power from anything I've driven before, apart from the Formula One car of cours," he explained. "I think the tyres is one of the biggest things. With the Hankooks [European F3 tyre] you could push 99 per cent of the race. The Pirellis you can push for a couple of laps and then you've got to start saving. It's not easy.

"I'm just going from one kind of extreme to the other basically. I think the F2 tyres are probably one of the hardest things to adapt to, harder than the Formula One Pirellis were to get used to. So it's a big challenge."