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British teenager Lando Norris, singled out by McLaren as a Formula One star of the future, won the FIA European Formula Three championship in his rookie season on Saturday.

The 17-year-old clinched the title with two races to spare at Hockenheim, giving him enough points to qualify for a Formula One super license.

The series has served as a springboard for a string of current Formula One youngsters including Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Force India’s Esteban Ocon and Williams’s Lance Stroll.

Norris, who turns 18 in November, is the youngest champion yet.

Mercedes’s triple world champion and compatriot Lewis Hamilton won the title in 2005 when it was known as the F3 Euro series.

Norris tested with McLaren in August, impressing the team, and has been tipped to take over the reserve driver role while moving up to Formula Two — the last rung of the ladder before Formula One.

“Winning this title can only help me become an F1 driver,” he said.

“Of course, I am happy that I am now the FIA Formula 3 European Champion, even though I wanted to do it at Spielberg already. Prior to the season, my team and I didn’t expect to win the title, but we worked hard and this is the well-deserved reward.” Norris added

“However, my rivals, first and foremost Maximilian Günther, also made things pretty difficult for me. This title probably is the most important one in my career so far. In this race, my start wasn’t really good, so I dropped back to third.”

“When I then wanted to overtake Callum, we slightly tangled, allowing Ferdinand to get past the two of us into second place. When he made a mistake later on, I was able to overtake him again. Against Joel, I didn’t have a chance anymore, our pace simply was too similar.”

Source: Reuters/FIA

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