McLaren Acknowledges Interest in Lando Norris from Other Teams

McLaren’s Zak Brown acknowledges the team's inability to control outside interest in Lando Norris, and maintaining McLaren as his ideal team.

Ben

By Ben Bush
Published on January 27, 2024

Interest in Lando Norris from Other Teams

Zak Brown of McLaren openly admits the team’s lack of control over external interest in Lando Norris while emphasizing their commitment to making McLaren the most conducive environment for their standout driver.

As a shining star in the 2023 championship, Norris achieved seven podium finishes, ranking sixth in the Drivers’ standings. This performance sparked rumours about his potential move to Red Bull, the championship winner.

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Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, praised Norris as an ideal partner for Max Verstappen but noted that Norris’ existing contract with McLaren was a key obstacle.

Interest in Lando Norris grows among rival F1 Teams

Norris’ current contract with McLaren, which was extended in 2022, is valid until the end of the 2025 season.

Despite ongoing interest from Red Bull and rumoured attention from Mercedes, especially as Norris’ contract ends simultaneously with Lewis Hamilton‘s deal at Mercedes, Brown recognises that the onus is on McLaren to make Norris feel valued and motivated to remain with the team.

“I have a belief, whether it’s employees, drivers, sponsors, that it’s our job to take care of them, and for them to want to be at McLaren,” he said as per Speedcafe.

“So I tend to focus on making sure McLaren has the best environment and people that want to be with us because you ultimately can’t control external approaches to those various people.

“I’m very confident in the relationship that we have with Lando. I know he’s very excited for this year and was very impressed with what he saw over the second half of last year.

“He loves working with Andrea [Stella] and everyone on the team, so all we need to keep doing is giving him the environment he wants to be in, and I’m confident he’ll stick around as opposed to trying to kind of sell against the competition. That’s never been my way.”

McLaren engages in talks with Lando Norris

Following the signing of Norris’ teammate, Oscar Piastri, to a multi-year contract last season, Brown disclosed that the team is actively discussing future plans with Norris.

“I feel my primary role is to get the right people in place, give them the right resources in support of Andrea and the entire team,” he continued.

“Of course, when you’re building a team that has desires to get back to winning a World Championship, you need the management, the technology, the infrastructure, and of course, you need the two drivers, and I think we have all of those in place.

“We have Lando under contract for another couple of years.

“Of course, we’re in dialogue with him continuously as he’s starting to think through – as we are as we’re very focused – to obviously the short term, but also ’26 is not far away.

“We recognise that being able to retain Lando and Oscar for the foreseeable future is definitely a key element and something that is a high priority for us.”

Despite being a prominent figure in Formula 1’s driver market, the 24-year-old Norris has not yet secured a Grand Prix victory. Last season, he matched Nick Heidfeld’s record for the highest number of F1 podium finishes without a win, totalling 13.

Source: PlanetF1.com

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About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush
Ben

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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