McLaren boss fires accusation about Lando Norris partnering Max Verstappen

Lando Norris and Max Verstappen are both wanting to become team-mates in the future, most likely at Red Bull.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown believes the media are “stirring” the idea of Lando Norris and Max Verstappen becoming team-mates in the future, something both drivers are open to.

Ahead of the recent Italian Grand Prix, Norris and Verstappen both revealed that they’d like to be team-mates one day, with Norris having joked that he “invited” the reigning World Champion to ditch Red Bull and join McLaren.

Whilst the two are very good friends, the duo would likely only ever be team-mates at Red Bull, given the current contract situation in Formula 1.

Norris is unable to move anywhere until the end of 2025 whilst Verstappen is contracted to Red Bull until the end conclusion of the 2028 season.

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When you look at their team-mates, Oscar Piastri is contracted to McLaren until the end of 2026, whereas Sergio Perez’s deal expires at the end of 2024.

Based on those facts, Norris’ and Verstappen’s best bet of becoming team-mates is if the British driver switches to McLaren in 2026, when the new power unit regulations come into effect.

Norris rates Verstappen as one of the greatest drivers in the “history of Formula 1”, making him very keen to test himself in the same team alongside the Dutchman.

“It’s definitely something I would be open to in the future. I think I can happily say that Max is probably one of the best drivers ever in the history of Formula 1,” Norris said in Monza, as reported by

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“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. I’d be open for it. I mean, I invited him to McLaren the other day so if he wants to come any time he’s very welcome.”

Fast forward to the recent Singapore Grand Prix – where Norris finished second whilst Verstappen claimed fifth – and Brown was asked about the two drivers stating they’d like to partner each other.

The American thinks the media are trying to make a big deal out of it purely for a story, with him being convinced that the whole thing has been “stirred” based on Norris’ response to being asked if he’s like to partner Verstappen.

READ: Ted Kravitz warns Max Verstappen might be bluffing

“I think he was just responding to a question he was asked – I think everyone else is stirring it,” Brown told media in Singapore, following a question by press conference host Tom Clarkson.

“I think they’re good buddies. I think if you ask any racing driver if they want to race another competitor, I think you’ll always get an answer of ‘oh, I’d love to be Lewis’ team-mate, or Max’s team-mate or Fernando’s team-mate’.

“So, I think everyone has picked up a question he has answered and stirred it a little bit and that’s Formula 1. But that’s alright. He’s in a good place.”