Lando Norris reacts to McLaren poaching Red Bull chief

McLaren announced the signing of Red Bull's chief engineering officer Rob Marshall ahead of the Spanish GP.

Lando Norris and McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown are both very excited by the signing of Red Bull’s chief engineering officer Rob Marshall, who’ll officially start working for the Woking-based team in January 2024.

McLaren have endured a disappointing start to the 2023 season, with the side seemingly struggling with a disappointing car.

Norris and rookie Oscar Piastri have both found it very challenging to finish amongst the points, something which has resulted in the team being sixth in the Constructors’ Championship after seven races.

Change was clearly needed, something Brown seemingly recognised himself.

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The signing of Marshall was announced ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, where Norris started third but finished 17th.

Brown interestingly revealed how he personally called the Red Bull employee, to help him understand the “direction” he wanted McLaren to take.

“I got very heavily involved [with the deal],” Brown told Sky Sports F1. “Someone on our team had his phone number, so I put in a call.

“Any time you’re recruiting someone who is very senior, they need to understand the direction of travel to get excited.

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“Red Bull are a fantastic team so for him to leave there after so much success, I think shows the excitement that he believes we’ve got coming here at McLaren.

“I think his results speak for themselves. Adrian Newey has nothing but great things to say about Rob, and we all know Adrian knows what he’s doing. He gave him a good endorsement.”

Signing Marshall is a clear sign of intent, given how key he’s been to all of Red Bull’s triumphs.

Marshall joined the Austrians in 2006, meaning he’s been with the team through all of their titles.

He’s clearly a winner, something which seems to excite Norris.

Norris has proven countless times that when he has a good car at his disposal, he will deliver big results.

With Norris’ McLaren deal set to expire in 2025, hiring Marshall could be key to the team retaining the 23-year-old.

Should Marshall help McLaren return to being a podium contender, then perhaps Norris will consider extending his deal into the new power unit regulations.

Norris recognises that Marshall is certainly a “big signing”, with the Briton believing that Marshall will “bring brains and lap time”.

READ: McLaren break silence on switching to Red Bull power units

“I would say a I have lot [of belief], even more now than in the past,” added Norris.

“I guess I would never want to say that I have no belief, and I never have said it and probably won’t, but definitely since the last few changes, there have been a lot of good things coming from that, both in terms of mood, atmosphere, but at the same time, also performance and things to look forward to in the future.

“So not everything is purely direct in Formula 1, a lot of things take time, so I guess you have that part of it too, but definitely things have taken a step forward so I can easily confirm that and say it with confidence. But, until we see it, that’s the timely part.”