McLaren confirm Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz for F1 2020
McLaren make early announcement to retain impressive paring for next year; Norris earns second year of F1 after just nine races of his impressive rookie season
By Matt Morlidge and James Galloway
Last Updated: 10/07/19 9:10am
Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris will remain the driver line-up for McLaren for the 2020 Formula 1 season, the team have confirmed.
Sainz, 24, and Norris, the 19-year-old English rookie, formed McLaren's youngest-ever pairing this year and have helped the iconic team to fourth in the constructors' standings.
"We are very happy with both of them, how they are progressing since the beginning of the season with us," team boss Andreas Seidl told Sky Sports News.
"They are the future for our team and very happy that we have clarity and transparency for the team and looking forward to some more successful years together."
Norris, who has scored four points finishes in his first nine grands prix, has been handed the renewal on the eve of his maiden home British GP this weekend.
"It does give me a bit more confidence. I'm not saying I didn't have any confidence, but just knowing I'm going to be here for another year I can continue to work hard, I can continue to push," Norris told Craig Slater.
Buoyed by their young drivers and a new-look backroom team, McLaren have enjoyed a renaissance in F1 2019 - currently lying fourth ahead of Renault - and haven't scored this many points at this stage of a season since 2014.
The team have also achieved four double Q3 entries in qualifying, which is more than they managed over the entirety of the previous three seasons combined.
McLaren ward off Norris 'interest'
While Sainz joined McLaren at the start of this year on a two-year term, Norris' confirmation for 2020 comes just nine races in to his rookie campaign
"Lando was a rookie and it's also normal that he had a kind of 'probation' time," Siedl told SSN.
"He successfully managed to get through this probation time with the races he has done this year. He was impressive from the first race onwards in Melbourne, getting into Q3 in his first ever qualifying shows the talent he has.
"It's also not a one-off, he has now regularly done and great performances during the races. It's great to see how he interacts with the team."
And Seidl suggested some rivals had been closely tracking Norris' progress.
"The silly season has already started, there's a lot of background noise in the paddock regarding driver line-up changes for next year," said the McLaren boss.
"For sure, with the performance Lando has shown so far this year, he has caught interest also from other teams, but we have a multi-year deal with him, we made the decision and we preferred to announce it straight away."
Sainz on new-look McLaren
The youthful Sainz-Norris combination is proving one of 2019's most successful - and refreshing - with the pair enjoying a friendly, jovial relationship off the circuit and delivering on track.
"We are having fun, Lando and I, this year and we are enjoying a good year together," said Sainz.
"We are enjoying the team move forwards and the way we have approached this year and the following years that are coming of pushing the team forward together is the right one."
The former Toro Rosso and Renault driver has finished in the top eight in five of the last six races and appears to be flourishing in his new environment.
"The way we are working with the team is working really well," added Sainz. "My performances have been good but it's something I wanted for myself and I could do once I had a bit more stability like I have in McLaren now.
"This nice stability and nice environment is making it easier to produce results."
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