Norris-Alonso comparisons inevitable, says McLaren

Comparisons between double Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris will be inevitable when they team up in the Daytona 24 Hours, says McLaren executive director Zak Brown.

Norris-Alonso comparisons inevitable, says McLaren
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Lando Norris, Carlin Dallara F317 - Volkswagen
Zak Brown, Executive Director, McLaren Technology Group, Fernando Alonso, McLaren
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32, Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Lando Norris, Carlin Dallara F317 - Volkswagen
Fernando Alonso, McLaren
Zak Brown, McLaren Executive Director
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32

Alonso will share one of United Autosport's Ligier JSP217 prototypes with European Formula 3 champion Lando Norris and Phil Hanson for his debut in the event.

It was recently announced Alonso would stay with McLaren next season, while Norris has been confirmed as the team's reserve driver for 2018.

When asked if McLaren will be using the rare opportunity to benchmark Norris against Alonso to assess his potential, Brown said: "Well, it is two different types of cars, but yes, you can't help seeing how Lando comes on.

"He and Fernando get along really well so more than anything, I think it will be a great opportunity for them to bond and continue to build their relationship.

"Lando is going to learn from Fernando, how he conducts himself and how he prepares for a race. It'll be very beneficial for Lando."

Brown joked that he had created "a racing monster" in allowing Alonso to first do the Indianapolis 500 and now Daytona alongside the F1 programme.

An assault on the Le Mans 24 Hours is on Alonso's agenda and Brown said the team will consider further requests from the Spaniard to do compete in other series.

"Now he has the ability to [race in other series], when it makes sense and doesn't compromise the F1 team and F1 efforts, then we'll be open-minded," said Brown.

"I don't think it's a super long list of races he wants to do. We all know the ones he doesn't want to do."

Brown added discussions are currently taking place to formulate Alonso's Daytona preparation programme.

"We'll make sure we get him out in the car before the Daytona test so he can get used to it, but we haven't landed on anything definitive yet," he said.

Alonso said he is hoping to get some time in the simulator, too, particularly given his lack of experience in sportscar racing.

"I have never been a prototype car, I just watched it live when I went to Le Mans 24 Hours and seeing Mark Webber and my friends there," he said. "It will be my first time.

"Hopefully I can do some simulator work, which I'm trying to figure out, and also some testing. Then at the beginning of January, there will be tests in Daytona to learn the track.

"It will be better because in Indianapolis I had to keep watching YouTube videos. So it will be nice."

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