Despite McLaren having taken a step backwards in 2022, Lando Norris has once again enjoyed a solid season so far, with the Brit currently occupying seventh in the Drivers’ Championship.
After two seasons of battling occasionally with the frontrunners, the Woking-based team have taken a step backwards in the midfield following the new aerodynamic regulations.
The British side are sitting fifth in the Constructors’ Championship, 18 points behind fourth-placed Alpine, who they find themselves in a battle with for a spot in the top four.
Norris has claimed a podium this season, at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix; however, seventh has been the Briton’s usual finishing position, a spot he’s claimed five times in the last six races alone.
He has remained incredibly consistent, though, and has finished in the points at 12 of the 16 completed races this season.
It’s because of his speed and consistency that he was awarded a new long-term contract by the team, which sees the Brit now earn the fourth most per year on the grid.
Norris reportedly earns £12 million; however, will likely see upwards of £19 million this season following the new deal and bonuses.
This is staggeringly more than his soon-to-be team-mate for 2023, Oscar Piastri who’s reportedly set to earn just £466,000 as a base salary next season, according to Australian publication the Herald Sun.
It’s somewhat surprising that Piastri will earn such a small amount by F1 standards, given how highly he’s regarded by the entire paddock.
The 2021 F2 World Champion is regarded by many as a future World Champion, adding to the surprise that McLaren signed Piastri from Alpine so cheaply.
Piastri will, of course, take the place of Daniel Ricciardo next season.
The Aussie is set to receive a fee in the region of £8.5 million for departing the team, instead of seeing out his contract, which actually expires at the end of next season.
Ricciardo is yet to decide what he’ll do next year, with it seemingly looking like a choice between pursuing Mick Schumacher’s Haas seat or having a year on the side-lines.
The 33-year-old has revealed that he’s “accepted” the possibility of taking a one-year hiatus, with the view of returning to the championship in 2024 when a number of contracts are due to expire.
Should Ricciardo take a year out, then he could be seen racing in NASCAR, following interest from the Trackhouse Racing 91 Project team.
2007 F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen recently competed for the team in a one-off appearance at Watkins Glen, where he crashed out of the race despite having run in the top 10 at times.