Norris signs off in style with podium finish

Bristol’s Lando Norris signed off from the Formula Three category in style after bringing his Carlin prepared Dallara-Volkswagen home second in a thrilling and eventful Macau Grand Prix.

Having started seventh on the 21-car grid in what is considered the ‘blue riband’ F3 race of the year, Norris finished 0.568 seconds be- hind the winner of the 15-lap Suncity Group Formula Three Macau GP around the mainly tight and twisting 3.8-mile Circuito da Guia street track.

The 18-year-old began the 64th running of the prestigious Grand Prix from the fourth row of the grid, the track having completely dried after overnight and morning rain. He made up a place on the opening lap before a full course yellow on lap two and was into fourth when the race briefly resumed before another safety car phase.

The Bristol driver challenged hard for third place from the restart but, with two laps remaining, was demoted to fourth after four cars headed in to Lisboa Corner side-by-side. The drama continued with Norris taking the chequered flag in second when the two leading cars crashed at the final corner.

“I came to Macau to win and finish off what has been a phenomenally successful F3 season on a high so I’m a little disappointed having only achieved second place especially as Carlin gave me a great car – as they have done all season,” said Norris.

Norris, who became the youngest FIA Formula Three European Champion in history this year, leaves the F3 category with impressive statistics. Having made his début at the end of last year – which included finishing 11th from a back of the grid start in the corresponding Macau GP – Norris has recorded 20 front row starts, eight poles and 20 podiums including nine wins plus eight fastest race laps in his 32 races in 2017.

He is currently making FIA Formula Two Championship début with Campos Racing at the 3.44-mile Yas Marina Circuit this weekend. Practice and qualifying was held on Friday with the 60 minute, or 31-lap, feature race, which included a compulsory pit-stop to change tyres, going ahead yesterday evening. A 45 minute, or 28-lap, sprint race, where no pit-stops are allowed, takes place today at 2.00 pm.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.