McLaren hopeful Lando Norris to make FP1 appearance at Belgian Grand PRix

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Hockenheim hot lap with Lando Norris (2:20)

ESPN's Laurence Edmondson takes a hot lap with McLaren test and reserve driver Lando Norris around the Hockenheim circuit. (2:20)

McLaren 2019 hopeful Lando Norris will take part in his first Friday practice session ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

Junior driver Norris, 18, is in contention for the remaining seat at the team for next season. He will pilot the car of Fernando Alonso, who announced last week he will quit F1 at the end of the season

Alonso's decision prompted McLaren to sign Carlos Sainz from Renault. It appears unlikely Alonso's current teammate, Stoffel Vandoorne, will be retained after a difficult campaign which has seen him comprehensively out-performed by the two-time world champion.

Norris, who is currently second in the Formula Two championship behind Mercedes junior driver George Russell, has been handed the opportunity at a crucial moment in McLaren's decision-making process.

"This is not only part of his ongoing development, but also the evaluation and performance evolution of the car," McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran said. "We'll be taking a strategic view race-by-race at where else this might be beneficial for us over the coming grands prix."

Earlier this season, Toro Rosso approached McLaren over the possibility of Norris taking over from Brendon Hartley for the rest of the season. McLaren blocked the move. Vandoorne's chances of staying in F1 might well rest on that same team.