Lando Norris to replace Sergio Perez?

Lando Norris is understood to have a release clause in his existing McLaren mega-contract.

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez’s contract expires in 2024 and former world champion Damon Hill thinks that Daniel Ricciardo should be the man to fill his shoes.

Ricciardo already raced for the Red Bull team, from 2014-2018 and has held the team’s third spot after parting ways with McLaren last year.

Hill has flagged Ricciardo’s readiness as a potential problem in directly stepping in for Perez.

He also threw Lando Norris’ hat into the ring, with the 23-year-old having impressed many since his F1 debut in 2019.

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It’s been suggested he’s only been denied podium spots due to the pace of McLaren’s car.

His highest podium finish was in 2021 when he clinched second place at the Italian Grand Prix.

However, it would take something special for Red Bull to secure Norris’ services, with the Brit having signed a “mega deal” with McLaren. 

If it were to be Ricciardo lining up to replace Perez, this could spark one of the biggest internal team battles since the duel between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at Mercedes in the mid-2010’s.

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Speaking to media sources, Hill commented: “Is Daniel Ricciardo fit enough to come back?

“That’s what the noises are. Maybe that plan is simmering away. I think they’d want a fresh face. Possibly Lando [Norris]. He’s still got a few more years left at McLaren.

“I was surprised when he signed such a long-term deal [until the end of 2025].

“It’s a long time, I’d have done three years tops. If you’re that confident in yourself, you need to be able to move when the time is right.”

Hill is not alone in viewing Norris as an ideal Perez replacement.

Fellow Sky Sports pundit Karun Chandhok linked the McLaren racer with a move to the Austrian team.

READ: Mick Schumacher ready to replace Lando Norris or Oscar Piastri

He said: “I tell you who will be thinking about a move to Ferrari or Red Bull though, is young Lando Norris.

“Looking at where they’re [McLaren] at, and we were talking before the season of McLaren locking him in and Zak [Brown] doing an amazing job of contracting him in for that four-year period.

“I do wonder, and if they’re smart they would have created some sort of exit clauses.”