EURO F3 CHAMPIONSHIP TOP BRIT NORRIS HEADS INTO THE UNKNOWN
Lando Norris heads in to the unknown for the latest rounds of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship next weekend (20-21 May). Norris, who lies just one-point off the outright series lead, has never raced or even previously visited Pau in south-western France, set along the Pyrenees mountains. As normal, three races will be staged over the weekend, each taking place around the centre of the city where public roads are closed to form a challenging 1.71-mile street circuit. The McLaren-Honda Young Driver has started each of this season’s six races from the front row of the grid, going on to post five top-three overall placings – including two wins – in his Carlin-entered Dallara-Volkswagen. Only once has Norris not finished the top championship “rookie”. The 2016 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner has previous “street” circuit experience from Monaco (Formula Renault) and Macau (F3) races last year which he hopes will help him become the first Briton to win the Pau Grand Prix for F3 cars since Lewis Hamilton 12 years ago. While BRDC SuperStar Norris will be making his Pau début, British team Carlin has won the Pau GP – the third and final race on Sunday afternoon – for the past two years, additionally winning a race there in 2014. Lando will start the first race on Saturday morning one-point behind series leader Joel Eriksson (SW), 27pts ahead of third-placed Callum Ilott (GB) and a further four-points clear of Maximilian Günther (D). Each have previous Pau race experience with Eriksson, Ilott and Günther having three, six and six races to their credit – the latter pair having each registered at least one Pau podium finish.
Lando Norris (GB): Born: Bristol, England. Aged 17.“Pau will be totally new to me but Carlin has previously done very well there which is a big positive for me. I’ve tried to prepare as well as possible by doing sim[ulator] work for Pau since the last races at Monza. We have two practice sessions on Friday but with only a few minutes in between them, there’s hardly any time to go through the data with my engineer. I’m sure I’ll be learning a lot from [team-mate] Jake [Dennis] who is a past multiple Pau F3 race winner. I personally like driving on ‘street’ circuits although Pau is very different to those I’ve experienced at Monaco or Macau but I’m really looking forward to it. Eriksson, Ilott and Günther all know Pau well so I’ll be up against it. I’ll relish the challenge and hopefully will be able to add to my points tally.”