Max Verstappen will pick Lando Norris to replace sacked Sergio Perez

Lando Norris has frequently been linked with a move to Red Bull to become Max Verstappen's team-mate in 2024.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher has admitted that he can “already imagine” Lando Norris partnering Max Verstappen at Red Bull, with the duo being “good friends”.

Norris has been heavily linked to Red Bull over the years, with him having actually held talks with the Milton Keynes-based side last season, ahead of signing his long-term deal with McLaren.

His deal with McLaren runs until the end of 2025, meaning he could switch to Red Bull in 2026 when the new power unit regulations are introduced.

Ideally for Red Bull, Norris would switch in 2025, as Sergio Perez’s contract expires next season.

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However, should Perez’s deal for 2024 not be honoured, then Red Bull could run the likes of Daniel Ricciardo for two seasons, before attempting to sign Norris for 2026.

Norris without a doubt will race for a leading team one day, with most believing that Red Bull would be his preferred destination.

His relationship with Verstappen is something which could work in his favour, although as proven by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, friendships can be destroyed by racing for the same team.

Nevertheless, Schumacher can see Norris becoming Verstappen’s team-mate.

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“I could already imagine that Lando Norris will become Verstappen’s new teammate. The two seem to be good friends,” Schumacher wrote in his column for Sky Germany.

As Verstappen is very much Red Bull’s lead driver, Schumacher believes the two-time World Champion will get to choose who replaces Perez, something else which could work in Norris’ favour.

The German points out that this isn’t “unusual”, with Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher having both chosen their team-mates.

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“I assume that Verstappen will ultimately decide who will be his teammate. This is nothing unusual. This already existed with Senna, my brother also had this right.

“If a driver like Verstappen contributes so much to the team’s success, I also think it’s good to keep his back as free as possible.”

Should Norris ever move to Red Bull to partner Verstappen, then the Austrians would boast a remarkable line-up not just for the present but also for the future, given that the British driver is younger than the Dutchman.