Lando Norris warned about rejecting Red Bull

Lando Norris is believed to be Red Bull's biggest target for 2026, when the new power unit regulations are introduced.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Johnny Herbert believes Lando Norris should reject any approach from Red Bull and instead remain with McLaren.

Norris has already been linked to Red Bull several times in his five-year F1 career, with some talks having previously taken place.

The Austrians are huge admirers of Norris, who has even admitted himself that he’d like to be Max Verstappen’s teammate one day.

Given that Verstappen is contracted until the end of 2028, Norris would presumably have to move to Red Bull in order to partner the three-time World Champion.

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Some ponder whether Red Bull are lining up to pounce on Norris’ current contract with McLaren expiring at the end of 2025 and poach him for 2026 when the new power unit regulations are introduced.

In theory, this could work, as Sergio Perez is contracted until the end of 2024, meaning they could offer Daniel Ricciardo a one-year deal to get them to 2026.

It’s easy to see why Red Bull are keen on Norris, as he enjoyed a brilliant 2023 campaign.

Once McLaren introduced a huge upgrades package at the Austrian Grand Prix which revolutionised their season, Norris was a regular podium finisher.

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In fact, he finished on the rostrum in seven of the last 13 races.

He was Red Bull and Verstappen’s biggest threat in the second half of the recently completed campaign, courtesy of McLaren’s huge gains.

Because McLaren made so much progress towards Red Bull in 2023, Herbert thinks Norris should stick with the Woking-based side, as leaving the British outfit when they are performing so well is a huge “risk”.

“I think if we do it just from a driver’s perspective, you’re always going to try and work out what’s going to benefit you,” Herbert told The Express, as reported by F1 Oversteer.

“Now is the risk of him going to Red Bull worth it in the situation that he finds himself?

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“McLaren [are] doing really, really well… McLaren love having him in the team. He delivers when the car is working properly… Is it worth the risk? Personally no, I don’t think it is worth the risk.

“He’s still young, he’s still going to get better, he’s still going to improve and at the moment, McLaren are on a very good trajectory to, you know, get themselves maybe in a stronger position for next year.

“We’re going to have to wait and see obviously, but I don’t see why he’d want to make his life that little bit more difficult when he actually is in a very good position that he’s got at the moment.”