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Norris McLaren

Norris happy to dispel Red Bull rumours with contract extension

Norris firmly believes McLaren can rival Red Bull as he extends contract, expressing confidence in the team's potential against the champions

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Lando Norris acknowledges future talks with other F1 teams but trusts McLaren’s potential to rival Red Bull in the near 2024 season.

P2 for Norris and P4 for Piastri at Silverstone underlined the vastly improved McLaren as F1 headed towards the halfway point of the season (Image Credit: McLaren Racing Media Centre)
P2 for Norris and P4 for Piastri at Silverstone underlined the vastly improved McLaren as F1 headed towards the halfway point of the season (Image Credit: McLaren Racing Media Centre)

Norris has provided insights into the motivation behind his recent decision to renew his contract with McLaren. Opting for a new multi-year contract, Norris chose commitment to the team over a potential move elsewhere on the Formula 1 grid.

Forging a new chapter

Opening up to Sky Sports about recent events, Norris was keen to shed light on the rationale behind his decision to renew his contract with McLaren and forego potential moves within the grid.

Despite having two seasons remaining on his existing McLaren deal, Norris and the team announced a further extension on Friday, solidifying the partnership alongside re-signed teammate Oscar Piastri for the upcoming season.

The swift confirmation dispelled any notions of the 24-year-old leaving his Woking-based team, assuring the team and fans of his commitment. He highlighted a desire to “create his own chapter and his own story, of being at McLaren and turning the team around”.

Red Bull rumours put to bed

Speculation swirled around Norris’s potential move after Alex Albon’s comments suggesting a spot for Norris at Red Bull, intensifying with media coverage and Red Bull’s teasing.

In response to ongoing rumours tying him to Red Bull, Norris humorously acknowledged his enjoyment of the media’s various stories. Downplaying the speculation, he stressed the uplifting effect of his renewed contract on the team’s morale, underscoring its positive impact.

“I think for the whole team, everyone here, everyone at McLaren, that’s probably the most important thing, you know,” he said. “I’m sure when you work here and you have one of your drivers and you see them getting linked to other teams, that’s just probably never an easy thing to see, and you probably question it at times.

Norris’ recent comments underscore his self-awareness and commitment to maintaining team morale as the 2024 season approaches. In discussing his decision to renew his contract with McLaren, Norris emphasised the importance of instilling confidence within the team.

“To get everyone here at McLaren just that bit more confident within me, and [it] shows my confidence in the whole team. I think that’s really the most important thing I’m happiest about with getting the contract out.”

Norris went on to explain that engaging in discussions with various teams is standard practice for drivers contemplating their future endeavours.

He clarified that these conversations are not solely focused on contract negotiations but also involve exploring what different teams can offer beyond monetary gain.

While acknowledging the widespread nature of such talks, Norris highlighted that, in his case, these discussions did not progress further.

“It’s the same with every driver, everyone speaks to every team, what could we potentially do one day, but nothing ever progresses more than that basically – we shut [it] down quite quickly.

“You do want to put some of these rumours to bed because it’s not a good [thing] that the team keeps seeing day in and day out, so that’s why we’ve come to a decision so early on, and so quickly – hopefully that does put those questions to bed nicely.”

Feature Image Credit: McLaren F1

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