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Norris unveils behind-the-scenes contract talks with rivals

Lando Norris provided a glimpse into the depth of discussions with rival Formula 1 teams before reaffirming his commitment to McLaren

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Amid abundant speculation, discussions linked Lando Norris to Red Bull as a potential successor to Sergio Perez.

Lando Norris gives a thumbs up to the crowd before the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar at Lusail International Circuit (Image Credit: Qian Jun/MB Media – Getty Images)

Swiftly dispelling these rumours, Norris affirmed his commitment to Formula One with McLaren, clinching a multi-year extension surpassing his contract’s 2025 expiration.

When questioned by Sky Sports post announcement, Norris made it very clear that his loyalty lay with McLaren, noting a desire to “create his own chapter and story, of being at McLaren and turning the team around.”

Norris showcased his strength with McLaren during the 2023 season, amassing 206 points and claiming 6th place in the drivers’ championship. He narrowly trailed Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by just 1 point, while outpacing teammate Oscar Piastri by a significant 109 points.

Despite the achievements of the preceding season and holding the position as the team’s primary driver, Norris revealed discussions with other teams during that period.

Shedding Light

Speaking to the media, Norris shed light on the commonplace nature of discussions among drivers and teams in Formula 1.

“Everyone speaks to everyone, every driver speaks to every team,” Norris emphasized.

He clarified that these conversations go beyond mere contract negotiations, focusing on exploring what each team can provide and weighing the potential offerings.

Norris highlighted the universality of such discussions, stating, “It’s the same with every driver. Everyone speaks to every team on what could we potentially do one day, but nothing ever progressed more than that, basically. It was shut down quite quickly.”

Rumours put to bed

As speculation surrounding Norris’s future intensified before the confirmation of his new contract, the 24-year-old expressed his eagerness to dispel media rumours. Norris highlighted the internal discussions with key figures at McLaren, including Andrea Stella and Zak Brown, in response to the growing questions.

He commented on the importance of addressing these rumours promptly, stating, “Then you start talking about your own stuff and you do want to put some of these rumours to bed because it’s not a good question at the team.”

This insight into the behind-the-scenes discussions reflects Norris’s commitment to clarity and focus within the McLaren team amid external uncertainties.

Details of Norris’ new contract have largely remained undisclosed, described simply as a “multi-year deal” without specific information provided.

While the precise timeline remains undisclosed, the implication is that Norris is likely committed to McLaren until at least the conclusion of the 2027 season, surpassing the initial end-of-2025 term.

The contract extension was promptly addressed by McLaren CEO, Zak Brown, who stated “I’m delighted that we’re continuing our relationship with Lando for multiple years to come.”

Reflecting on Norris’s journey with McLaren over the past six years, Brown praised Norris’s unwavering commitment and determination to propel the team forward.

“It’s been a fantastic journey over the last six years, and he has shown fantastic commitment and desire to push the team forward and get McLaren back to the front of the grid.”

 “Last season, we saw the fundamental role Lando played with the impressive turnaround in results, and I’m looking forward to continuing this push forward together with lots more podiums.”

Feature Image Credit: McLaren F1

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