Norris and McLaren have discussed future
By Mat Coch
Sunday 1st October, 2023 - 5:00am
Conversations have taken place between McLaren and Lando Norris about the Brit’s future beyond his current contract.
Norris currently has a deal through to the end of the 2025 season while team-mate Oscar Piastri recently inked a new agreement that keeps him at Woking until the end of 2026.
Those contracts offer McLaren a degree of medium-term stability as it continues through its rebuilding phase.
Highly rated, Norris has been linked with moves to Red Bull and Ferrari, though McLaren boss Andrea Stella was keen to point out his team also wished to retain the 23-year-old’s services.
“We are certainly having conversations with Lando,” he insisted.
“They are good conversations, we are happy with how these conversations are going.”
McLaren has had an up-and-down season this year, rebounding well after a slow start.
That has seen Norris pick up four second-place finishes in the last seven races, coinciding with the arrival of a significant upgrade package at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Prior to that race in the Red Bull Ring, Norris’ best result was sixth in the attrition-hit Australian Grand Prix.
While the team’s fortunes have transformed off track, more has been going on back at the team’s factory.
New staff have been hired, some of whom are yet to start, while key infrastructure projects are only just now beginning to add value.
The true impact of the new wind tunnel and simulator will only be felt in 2025.
On top of that, Stella admits there is value in making the driver feel safe and secure within the team.
That, he reasons, is underpinned by trust rather than hollow promises of success.
It is that honesty and open desire to have him in the team that secured Piastri’s signature.
“With Lando, we are doing exactly the same, trying to prove as much as possible on track that what we say [is realised], and trying to create a sense of this is going to continue over the coming years.
“I will be at discomfort, myself, having a conversation with a driver where I’m trying to persuade him playing cards that I don’t have in my hands,” Stella added.
“I don’t want to find myself in a situation where a driver said, ‘Hey, you said this would have happened, it’s not happening’.
“I don’t want to be in this position.
So my conversations, Zak’s conversations, they are genuine assessments of facts to the best of our knowledge.
“We don’t need to buy people in, we want people to give us the vote of confidence and stay with us, genuinely, truly believing in the journey together with McLaren.”