21/10/2016

Norris crowned European Formula Renault Champion

Somerset’s Lando Norris has won Renault Sport’s pan-European Formula Renault 2.0 Championship – becoming the second British driver to clinch the crown in as many years.
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Norris secured the title at the legendary Belgian Formula 1 circuit of Spa-Francorchamps with third and second place finishes in the two races there.

His results put him 59 points clear of nearest rival, France’s Dorian Boccolacci and Belgium’s Max Defourny, with a maximum of only 50 available from the season’s final two races at Estoril, Portugal.

Still aged only 16, Norris has become the youngest driver in history to win the Formula Renault 2.0 title – one of the most prestigious in junior single-seater competition which has been contested by many a driver on their way to future stardom in Formula 1.

His impressive run of results during the season has included five wins, four second places and two thirds out of 13 races.

Norris said: “It’s great to get the title – it was a tough championship and to take it with a round to spare is really satisfying. I’ve finished on the podium in every race apart from two, so it shows how consistent I’ve been. I was in a lot of pain through a neck injury and it really affected my driving at Spa. I was really surprised to finish second in race two when I was struggling so much. The last race was up there with one of my best.”

He added: “I was really surprised to do as well as I did in qualifying. I had to rest my head on the outside head rest to get comfortable and that really affected my vision and driving. It was the same in the second race – so I was really happy to get second place.

“I had mixed emotions getting the title. I was really pleased to get through the weekend and still take the championship in these circumstances. It means I’ve taken the extra licence points, which is another step towards my goal of getting into F1. There are a lot of well-known past winners who have gone onto F1, so to be up there with them is a great achievement.

"I'd just like to thank the whole team for getting me across the line, from the Joseph Kaufmann Racing team to Pap, Louise and ADD Motorsports – and of course my family who support me every step of the way."

Norris’s title success is the second for British drivers in Formula Renault 2.0 in as many years after Jack Aitken won the crown in 2015. Furthermore, the week after Spa, Norris went on to also win the North European Formula Renault 2.0 championship (NEC). He has since been selected as one of four finalists in line for the prestigious end-of-season McLaren Autosport BRDC award.