Lando Norris in ‘£100 million category’ as he’s interested in Audi

Lando Norris is contracted to McLaren until the end of 2025, but he could potentially join a rival before then.

Sky Sports F1 reporter Craig Slater has pondered whether Audi’s arrival to Formula 1 in 2026 “could be interesting” for Lando Norris, who is worth “top dollar” in the reporter’s opinion.

Norris is undoubtedly one of the most talented drivers on the F1 grid, with his young age making him worth an incredible amount.

At just the age of 23, Norris is already in his fifth season with McLaren, a team he’s claimed nine podiums for.

Four of those nine podiums have come in the last seven races, as the Woking-based side’s recent improvements have allowed the British driver to compete for the leading places.

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Several teams are keeping an eye on Norris with a view to potentially sign him in the future, most notably, Red Bull.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has openly admitted that he can “imagine” Norris racing for the Austrians, something which most expect to happen in the future.

For now, his immediate future is with McLaren, who he’s contracted to until the end of 2025.

With him supposedly not having an exit clause in his deal, there are only two ways Norris could switch teams; either leave as a free agent at the end of 2025 or have a team pay McLaren a significant fee.

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In Slater’s view, Norris would be worth “£100m” if he were a footballer, meaning the likes of Red Bull would have to “pay top dollar” to poach him from McLaren.

“Norris is the Jude Bellingham of Formula 1 in transfer terms,” Slater told Sky Sports.

“If he were a footballer, he’d be in the £100m category. He’s young, talented, marketable as well.

“Consider another couple of factors – he’s McLaren’s senior driver now, he’s in his sixth year at the team, five years as an F1 driver but they had him in development terms too. He’s the leader of the team.

“The other big question in terms of what his transfer value is – does he have a release clause in his contract?

“Not to my knowledge to any great degree, as far as I know, which means anyone wanting to sign him up would have to pay top dollar for his services.”

Whilst there is no doubting just how good Norris is, Slater doesn’t see him leaving McLaren before his deal concludes.

Slater doesn’t think any of the leading teams are in a position where they need Norris, something which makes him think Audi could be of interest, if they enter the sport with a competitive package.

“Is there a team out there that needs to sign Norris? Maybe not right now,” Slater continued.

“Ferrari seem to be well enough covered. Mercedes look like they will continue to work with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell for the years ahead. Max Verstappen is firmly ensconced at Red Bull.

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“Audi could be interesting in a couple of years time. When they come into Formula 1, they will want a big name to be the face of the team.

“Might Norris fit the bill in that regard? Might he link up again with his former boss at McLaren, Andreas Seidl?

“In F1 we don’t often see teams chasing after drivers. It’s more often drivers chasing after a fast car. I think that will be the case for Norris too.”