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Lando Norris says the timing of his opportunity to make his Formula 1 debut with McLaren hinges on how long Fernando Alonso stays with the team.
Norris, who will fulfil reserve driver duties for McLaren in F1 this year, won the European Formula 3 championship and will race in F2 for Carlin in 2018.
When asked if he was essentially waiting for Alonso to retire to move up into a race seat, Norris said: “Obviously from that, I would say so, but I couldn’t really say what they are thinking.
“I guess you have to wait for what Fernando wants to do and I think they are happy with Stoffel [Vandoorne] and it is quite early in his career.
“Obviously he can develop a lot and definitely improve as a driver going into 2018.
“So it is a bit of it is waiting to see what they are going to do but I can’t really say what else is going to happen – it is a bit hard for me.”
Norris admitted he would have to look at opportunities elsewhere on the F1 grid if a vacancy at McLaren didn’t come up – but he stressed his priority it to race for the British team.
“Obviously my aim is to be at McLaren,” he said. “If I can’t get a drive here, then I have to look at other opportunities.
“If they say ‘We’re not really going to have a drive [available] for three years’ or something, then it is obvious that I am going to have to go elsewhere.
“But if it is just one year, I think I’ll still stick with McLaren and deal with one year out.
“The aim is to be with McLaren.”