Max Verstappen makes surprising comment about Lando Norris’ McLaren contract

Max Verstappen and Lando Norris are both keen to be team-mates at Red Bull in the future.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen has admitted that it’s “not possible” for himself and “best friend” Lando Norris to be team-mates anytime soon, due to the McLaren driver having signed a long-term contract.

Norris signed a long-term deal with McLaren last season after having reportedly spoken to Red Bull.

The British driver agreed to remain at the Woking-based team until the end of 2025, before the new power unit regulations are introduced in 2026.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown has already stressed that the driver has no exit clauses, meaning it’d be almost impossible for Red Bull to sign Norris anytime soon to replace Sergio Perez.

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The earliest Norris could switch to Red Bull is, therefore, 2026.

Norris and Verstappen are extremely good friends and are often seen together away from F1, with Norris revealing that he met the Dutchman around 10 years ago.

The Brit is “open” to partnering Verstappen in the future, a driver Norris hailed as being “one of the best drivers ever”.

“It’s definitely something I would be open to in the future,” Norris said.

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“I think I can happily say that Max is probably one of the best drivers ever in the history of Formula 1.

“I never raced against him until I was into Formula 1 but I was always in the category below. In karting, I already knew him reasonably well.

“Back in 2013/2014 was the first time I got to meet him and get to know him and things like that, so I’ve been able to witness what he’s doing and I think it’s not just that he’s in a good car and he’s able to perform.

“I think, no matter what car he’s in, he’ll be able to perform at a similar level. Maybe with different results, but still a similar level.

“I think it’d be great to work alongside someone like that and, at the same time, see where I can really stand against him.”

Verstappen is also very open to having Norris as his team-mate but admitted that his friend wasn’t “smart” in signing such a long-term deal with McLaren.

The two-time World Champion rates Norris very highly and believes it’d be “very interesting” to partner him.

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“Well, I mean, he signed a very long-term deal with McLaren a few years ago,” Verstappen said.

“So that was probably not a smart thing to do, from his side. We have a good relationship and we get on very well.

“I know he’s one of the best drivers out there at the moment and, for sure, it would be very interesting to team up with each other. But, at the moment, of course, that’s not possible.”