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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 26: Lando Norris of Great Britain and McLaren talks prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 26, 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Why did Norris extend his stay at McLaren rather than going to Red Bull?

The Briton has signed a new contract with the Woking team, extending his stay with the team for multiple season, but don't know the length of the contract

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Lando Norris has extended his stay at McLaren for multiple more seasons, rejecting interest from other teams such as Red Bull.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 26: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL60 Mercedes on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 26, 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Norris secured multiple podium finishes in 2023 (Image Credit: Clive Rose/Getty Images)

McLaren enjoyed a successful turnaround last year in performance. Huge issues at the start of the season turned into being podium contenders every race.

The improvement in performance led to Norris signing a new deal with the Woking team. The contract extension will keep the Briton in Papaya until 2027 at the earliest.

The Woking-based outfit became Red bull’s closest challenger during the second half of the season. Norris, in fact, came close to winning in 2023.

Title challenge is the dream

Norris has shown his full trust in McLaren to help him with a car to challenge for a world championship. Lots of new personnel signed by CEO Zak Brown helped the team massively. The British team will also have a new wind tunnel for 2024, levelling the playing field with the big teams.

The 24-year-old believes that his team has the potential to build on from its multiple podium-finishing form in 2023. However, Norris doesn’t want to get too carried away, believing that the team will be able to fight for world championships yet.

“[There were] moments we were close to winning races last year, and a few races we were not miles away from a Red Bull,” he said. “And, when you think of it, it was the most competitive car ever in F1.

“So, with the knowledge of, if you want to win one race, we are the closest we’ve ever been since I’ve been here at McLaren and for many, many years. But fighting for a championship is a bigger step.

“If you asked me, ‘Do you think you can win races this year?’ I’d probably be more inclined to say yes.

“But to go straight into, ‘can you win races and a championship?’ I think that’s another level both for myself because racing at the very top is not something I’ve necessarily done for a while, but also for the whole team, for everyone here in the factory.

“It’s a different level of pressure and excitement for the mechanics.”

SUZUKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 24: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL60 Mercedes leads Oscar Piastri of Australia driving the (81) McLaren MCL60 Mercedes during the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on September 24, 2023 in Suzuka, Japan.
Norris and Piastri had a good relationship throughout 2023 (Image Credit: Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)
Why not go to Red Bull?

Some speculation was going around on the possibility of going to Red Bull. However, them rumours have been put to rest, extending his stay at McLaren.

Norris was asked about the possibility of teaming up with Verstappen. The Briton believes it wouldn’t have been the smartest idea:

“Considering we are talking about the most competitive and successful car in the history of Formula 1 over a season – and I think you have to include the driver in that too – how close we got at certain places with where we started [last] season I think was pretty impressive.”

“To go from out of the points pretty much every single race to being probably the closest team on average to the most successful car that’s ever been in Formula 1, I think showed me enough, and showed everyone here at McLaren enough, that we have what it takes to challenge them.

“He’s in a team that he’s very comfortable in, a lot of things are built up around him, so for anyone, even a Max of a few years ago, to go in against the Max of now is extremely difficult.

“Therefore I want to create my own chapter and my own story of being with McLaren and turning the team around and being part of that journey.”

The McLaren driver admitted that he has had thoughts of what he could achieve at Red Bull. However, he is happy to stay at the Woking team.

Feature Image Credit: Edmund So/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

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