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2018 F1

McLaren ‘not surprised’ by the report Toro Rosso to replace Hartley with Norris

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McLaren says it is “not surprised” amid reports Red Bull made a move to sign its junior driver Lando Norris.

With Brendon Hartley’s seat at Toro Rosso in doubt, widespread media reports say Red Bull made a move to snap up 18-year-old Briton Norris, the Formula 2 championship leader.

According to the reports, McLaren turned down the request to release Norris ahead of the Austrian grand prix.

“We are not surprised that other teams are looking at our drivers,” a McLaren spokesperson is quoted as saying.

“They obviously believe, as we do, that they are very talented.”

It is believed, however, that Red Bull could try again in October. It is then that Norris apparently needs to be either signed up by McLaren for 2019, or released.

Also rumoured in recent days is that MotoGP star Marc Marquez could be an option for Toro Rosso.

The Spaniard tested a few-year-old Red Bull car at the Spielberg circuit recently, and Dr Helmut Marko said his performance was “impressive”.

“In the coming years, he will set many more records in MotoGP,” he told Servus TV. “Maybe after that, formula one will be an issue for him.

“Only a few exceptional talents like John Surtees can succeed in both categories, and Marc has what it takes,” Marko added.

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