Lando Norris breaks silence on replacing Lewis Hamilton

Lando Norris has repeatedly been linked with a move to Red Bull Racing to become Max Verstappen's team-mate.

Lando Norris has broken his silence on replacing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, with both the serial champion and George Russell signing new deals.

Norris’ future has been a talking point recently following his recent positive performances, which included back-to-back podiums at Silverstone and at the Hungaroring.

His good results have resulted in him being linked to Red Bull once again, with Norris and reigning World Champion Max Verstappen having stated that they’d like to be team-mates one day.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has even insisted that he can “imagine” Norris driving for the Austrians, something which won’t happen until 2026 at the earliest.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Norris is contracted to McLaren until 2025, due to having signed a long-term contract last season.

The 23-year-old signed the long-term deal due to all the big seats being filled, something which left McLaren has his next best option.

Mercedes have got George Russell and Lewis Hamilton until the end of 2025, Ferrari have Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz until at least the end of 2024, whilst Sergio Perez’s Red Bull seat is the only one which could be available in 2025.

There are very few options at the leading teams really until the new power unit regulations are introduced but changing teams then could be risky given how much is unknown about what the pecking order will be.

Article continues below

Because he’s ended up staying at McLaren for so long – he joined the British team in 2019 – it’s actually increasing his determination to complete his story there and claim a victory, although he insists that his “life” isn’t owed to the team.

“I owe McLaren a lot, but I don’t owe them my life,” he told RaceFans. “Obviously there’s always been things going on and there’s been chats in the past and things like that, like there is with every driver, any time a contract comes to an end.

READ: Fernando Alonso frustrated by ‘anonymous’ race as Lance Stroll is on chopping block

“McLaren, generally, has always come out to be one of the best options that I could do, both short-term and I guess at this current time, a longer-term thing.

“There are times I could have left and then McLaren could have done well-ish like into 2020-21, and you’d be like ‘why? What a stupid move’.

“There haven’t been that many other opportunities to do a lot better. There’s been some opportunities here and there, but Ferrari has been pretty much booked. Mercedes has been pretty much booked. Red Bull, there’s always stuff going on.

“So there are always the little things but McLaren’s always ended up being the best option, that’s why I’m here still.

“Every year I’m here always adds to this story of me wanting to win more and more with the team and with McLaren, because I think that makes it to be more deserving once the good times come.”