Oscar Piastri has had a tantalising wait for his debut Formula 1 drive, but Lando Norris' battle with tonsillitis could hand the Australian his chance at this week's Monaco Grand Prix.
Norris was brave in the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, climbing from 11th on the grid to an eighth-placed finish despite visibly fighting agonising pain.
McLaren doesn't have a set reserve driver but the Surrey-based team does have ties to Mercedes and Alpine.
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READ MORE: Why Cowboys gun won't win prestigious NRL awardLando Norris' health battle could deliver Oscar Piastri his Formula 1 debut in this week's Monaco Grand Prix. (Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
McLaren's deal with Alpine means it's possible for Piastri – the reigning Formula 2 champion – to substitute in for Norris or Australian teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
McLaren also has access to the cohort of Mercedes drivers because of its power-unit partnership.
"That's something we would work out on short notice," said McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl.
"Which of the options we will call – it depends on the availability, because not all the guys are always available because of other commitments for other racing series."
Norris' pain was initially put down to allergies but the prognosis worsened later on the trip to Spain.
The Briton looked nauseous on the side of the track before the race and appeared exhausted after his eighth-placed finish.
He didn't participate in the usual post-race media rounds because of his physical state.
It mustn't have helped that the temperature in Barcelona soared into the mid-30s.Lando Norris visibly battling agonising pain in Barcelona. (Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Norris said it was "one of the hardest races" he'd ever had, but he still managed to finish four places higher than Ricciardo.
"I can't thank him enough for battling it through, and he showed a great fighting spirit because, in the end, it enabled us to score these four points," Seidl said of Norris' performance.
"We obviously have a doctor involved in decisions like that (whether he'll race), and we would never risk the health of Lando, just to be clear on that, as well.
"We need to make sure he has some good rest in the next four days before we then go again in Monaco.
"I think with the medical support we are having, as well, and with having the possibility now to rest for four days, I'm hopeful that Lando will be fit.
"But, as you know, we have different options in terms of reserve drivers prepared, which we will pull in case of an emergency."
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