There is a chance Lando Norris could start in F1 next year with another team.
At the beginning of the current season, Norris said he would be happy to sit on sidelines in 2019 if it guarantees him a McLaren race seat for 2020.
Although he is under contract with the Woking outfit, Norris has attracted the attention of several F1 teams.
Red Bull approached him to offer a seat at Toro Rosso for next year. But McLaren rejected the offer since they do not want to give Norris away completely.
There have been suggestions about exchanging Norris to get James Key early on board as McLaren’s new technical director.
When asked if he is interested in driving for another team and then return to McLaren, Norris said: “Of course I can see it.
“I would like to see it that I can just be in F1, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the way to go. Ideally, I’ll be with McLaren next year, that’s the perfect situation.
“But it’s not up to me to decide, it’s up to the bosses, and Fernando [Alonso], and whoever makes all the decisions.”
McLaren is yet to announce its 2019 driver line-up. Alonso is yet to make up his mind about next season and his current teammate Stoffel Vandoorne is at the end of his contract period.
When asked what he thought of the situation in McLaren, the British driver said: “It’s difficult to say, especially with us being in the situation of nobody really knowing what Fernando wants to do next year.
“Obviously, it would be very nice to be in F1. But at the same time, staying with McLaren, maybe it’s better to say I want to be doing FP1s and more opportunities to drive in F1.
“So if there is a confirmation of a season in 2020, maybe that’s a better opportunity and a better situation to be in.”
Norris was an early championship leader in F2. But after his debut race win, another British driver and Mercedes junior George Russell has taken the lead.
Norris is 12 points behind Russell and there is no clue who will be the champion by the end of the season. In either case, the McLaren junior is open to spending another year racing in FP sessions and getting a hang of F1 cars.
“In this era of Formula 1 it’s not easy just to jump in and be quick straight away, especially compared to Formula 2,” he said.
“I would presume for a lot of drivers, even myself, it takes time. So doing all these FP1s, you learn a lot more about the car, the team, what direction they are going in.
“Of course it will put me in a better position for 2020, but that’s just one circumstance. There’s plenty of other things that could happen.”