McLaren had already confirmed that Lando Norris has been diagnosed with suspected food poisoning on the night before the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend. On Thursdays, drivers spend the majority of their time at the track fulfilling media obligations before a race weekend. However, Norris was indeed absent today due to illness and remains in his Sao Paulo hotel.
The team also made a public announcement, telling fans: “Lando is feeling unwell with suspected food poisoning, so he will rest in the hotel today. We expect him back at track tomorrow.”
Lando Norris health
McLaren is hoping that Norris won’t have to miss any competitive action this weekend, as mentioned in that statement to Mirror Sports. As this is a Sprint weekend, qualifying will take place on Friday rather than its standard practice Saturday slot, making it even more of a race against time.
The 22-year-old has missed media day prior to a race weekend twice this season. He also fell ill on the night before the Spanish Grand Prix, with tonsillitis, but he was still able to compete that weekend.
Other options for McLaren
Through their partnership with Mercedes, McLaren may be able to rely on a number of backup drivers if Norris is unable to compete this weekend. They will likely have access to Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries, and if current employers Alpine agree, they may be able to field Oscar Piastri as their driver.