Carlin have announced its driver line-up for the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship. 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Champion Lando Norris and Brazilian F2 race winner Sergio Sette Camara will join the British team on its return to the Formula 1 feeder series in 2018.
British racer Norris made his debut in single seaters with Carlin in the F4 British Championship in 2015, impressing from the outset taking eight victories on his way to the 2015 title. Norris went on to win the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup championship the following year, in a stunning season which also saw the Somerset born teenager claim titles in Formula Renault 2.0 NEC, the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand and race wins in BRDC British F3 for Carlin.
Norris’ potential was recognised when he became the winner of the 2016 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award, earning him a place on McLaren’s Young Driver programme. Carlin and Norris continued their race winning relationship in 2017 in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. A stunning season with 20 podiums and nine race wins took Norris to rookie and overall championship honours, with Norris also becoming the youngest ever FIA Formula 3 Champion. A second place in last weekend’s Macau Grand Prix topped off a stunning season, with Norris also becoming McLaren’s 2018 Formula 1 reserve and test driver.
Sette Camara is already a race winner in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, taking two podiums and a race win in the Spa-Francorchamps Sprint race in his rookie season. Previously the 19 year-old Brazilian has enjoyed success with Carlin, taking a third place in last year’s Macau Grand Prix, joining then team mate and race winner Antonio Felix da Costa on the podium. Sette Camara was a star again in this year’s Macau Grand Prix, leading the majority of the race before crashing out on the last corner after a dual with Carlin’s Ferdinand Habsburg, in arguably the most exciting Macau Grand Prix of all time.
Speaking about his 2018 programme, Norris said, “It will be my fourth year racing with Carlin. Trevor heads up a great operation at Carlin and I feel part of the ‘family’ there. It’s a friendly environment and one in which I feel very comfortable in. Next year will be a steep learning curve in terms of getting used to the increased power, the Pirelli tyres and mandatory pit stops but I feel I’m in the best environment possible to get to grips with all those elements.”
2018 team mate Sette Câmara added, “To be signing with Carlin is the best. They are a top team and I know they will be up there. I had previous experience with Carlin in Macau in 2016 and it was amazing to finish third in such an important race with them. The environment within the team, with the other drivers, the mechanics, the engineers is just so happy and positive, I’m looking forward to spending the season with the team in such a big championship. To have such a strong team mate as Lando, who is so highly regarded is really motivating. We will push each other to the limit to be better drivers and to get Carlin the results it deserves as a team. Thanks to my family and my sponsors who make this possible, I’m very grateful for this opportunity.”
Trevor Carlin added, “I’m delighted that we’re able to announce a fantastic driver line-up on our return to the F1 support paddock. With Lando and Sergio we have one of the most exciting young line-ups there is. We’re extremely proud to be able to continue for the fourth consecutive season our relationship with Lando. It’s extremely rewarding to continue working with a driver up the FIA ladder. It will be a great benefit having Sergio’s season of experience at this level with the Pirelli tyres and we know having worked with him before his great speed and potential. The whole team is very excited about the hard work and challenges ahead.”