Lando Norris was the victim of a Max Verstappen prank last weekend at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which led to the McLaren driver being seen with the Red Bull logo on him.
Norris and Verstappen are known to be very good friends and are often spotted together away from Formula 1, the duo have even previously admitted that they’d like to be team-mates in the future.
The McLaren star might think twice now about partnering the three-time World Champion, following his comical prank at the Yas Marina Circuit.
As the two drivers were preparing for the traditional track parade ahead last Sunday’s race, Verstappen went over to talk to Norris, before greeting him with a pat on the back.
However, the pat on the back was done so that Verstappen could stick a Red Bull logo on the back of Norris’ McLaren shirt, something the 23-year-old was completely oblivious to.
TV cameras quickly picked up on what Verstappen was doing and showed the Red Bull logo on Norris.
It was a very light-hearted prank which summarises their relationship, which has led to many feeling confident that they’ll be Red Bull partners one day.
As Oscar Piastri is contracted to McLaren until the end of 2026, it’s more likely that Norris and Verstappen would be team-mates at Red Bull than the Woking-based outfit.
Red Bull have spoken to Norris before and are known to view him incredibly highly, leading to suggestions that the Brit could make the switch once his deal concludes at the end of 2025.
Theoretically, this could be possible, as Sergio Perez’s deal expires at the end of next year.
Red Bull could always give Perez or Daniel Ricciardo a one-year deal for 2025, which would open up a space for Norris in 2026.
One concern Norris might have about joining Red Bull is that all of Verstappen’s team-mates tend to buckle under the pressure of being alongside him.
However, ex-Red Bull driver Alex Albon doesn’t think this will be the case for Norris if he switched to the Milton Keynes-based team, who supposedly have an “open” invitation for him.
“I think if he wants it, yes. But let’s see, because I think no one enjoys to be Max’s team-mates,” Albon told Sky Sports F1.
“It’s hard – I have experience with that. But if he’s confident in himself, which he should be – from what I hear, the invitation has been open for a while. It’s hard to say now, because just like I have with Williams, you can tell the relationship Lando has with McLaren is very strong, and for now it looks like there’s no reason to change.”