Lando Norris might be on the verge of making a one-off appearance in IndyCar in the next few years, with McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown having explained that the British driver is keen to give the Indy 500 an attempt “one day”.
Norris is, of course, McLaren’s star driver, with the 23-year-old being under a long-term contract with the Woking-based outfit until the end of 2025.
That could spell the end of Norris’ time at McLaren unless the side can improve, following a disappointing campaign.
2022 was far from what the British side would’ve been hoping for, after their hard work across the last three seasons appeared to be somewhat forgotten.
From 2019-2021, McLaren made huge strides back towards the front, with the team having enjoyed several podiums and even a victory in 2021.
The first year of the new aerodynamic regulations wasn’t as kind, as the side slumped to fifth in the Constructors’ Championship.
With that in mind, McLaren might be more willing to give Norris a try in the famous race, in a bid to retain his services beyond 2025.
McLaren do have a side in the American series so giving Norris the chance won’t be an issue; however, it does traditionally clash with the Monaco Grand Prix.
It was for this reason why Jenson Button replaced Fernando Alonso at the 2017 Monaco GP, as McLaren gave the Spaniard permission to race in the Indy 500 that year.
It’s unlikely that Norris would be willing to miss the most famous race in F1 to compete in the Indy 500, although, Brown does think it could happen in the future.
“Lando’s mentioned he’d like to do the Indy 500 one day,” Brown told Planet F1.
“And of course, one of my first days on the job was bringing over Fernando Alonso to do the Indy 500, which was such an awesome experience for everybody.
“So yeah, you know, the calendars are pretty crazy these days, but I think racing drivers like to drive racing cars and, yeah, I could see that happening.”
McLaren will be keen to keep Norris happy, especially as the British driver was regularly unable to compete in the top five due to the pace of the team’s car.
Norris is someone that other teams are tracking, most notably Red Bull.
With that in mind, the next couple of seasons are key for McLaren, with the side needing to prove to Norris that they can offer him the car that he needs to challenge at the front.
Norris has admitted that he does “have faith” in the team, but that ultimately “time will tell” over how long he remains with the side.
“It’s just faith, it’s just honesty, that’s the main things I need,” Norris told F1.com.
“I’m not a guy who in any way likes BS, or who likes people trying to make me happy. I like just people being honest.
“I have faith in McLaren, I have faith in the guys I work with, the whole team. But time will tell. You can never be a hundred percent certain where you are going to be, but you can have a good shot at it.”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner did actually reveal earlier in the year that the Austrians were interested in signing Norris, presumably to replace Sergio Pérez either in 2023 or 2024.
It turns out, though, that the Constructors’ Champions have approached Norris several times, leading to the suggestion that the Austrians will try again in the future to poach the Quadrant founder.
“We’ve talked to Lando a couple of times over the years, but every time we’ve had a conversation, he’s signed a contract with McLaren the next day,” admitted Horner.
“He’s on a long-term contract with McLaren and it looks like he’s going to be there a few more years.”