McLaren boss reveals stance on Lando Norris joining Red Bull

Zak Brown, the CEO of McLaren, says he is confident that Lando Norris will stay with the team.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes that the team’s drastic improvements will convince its star driver, Lando Norris, to “stick around.”

Norris has now achieved back-to-back second place finishes at the British and Hungarian Grand Prixs.  

At Silverstone, he kept pace with Max Verstappen for most of the race and ended up finishing only +3.798s behind the dominant Dutchman.

The British driver’s teammate, Oscar Piastri, finished a respectable fifth at the Hungaroring. 

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Piastri only just missed out on a podium spot at the British GP, coming in fourth. 

Brown believes that Norris is not the only bright spark that is spurring McLaren’s success and that upgrades have had a large part to play.

Before the upgrades, McLaren endured a rough start to the 2023 season.

Norris finished above ninth place only once in the first eight races of the year.

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There was even speculation as to whether the 23-year-old Brit would seek an early exit from his contract – which runs until the end of 2025.

He has experienced quite the turnaround – with experts such as Damon Hill earmarking him as a potential replacement for Sergio Perez at Red Bull.

Speaking on Norris’ impressive performances, Brown said: “I think the way you keep him is you give him a good race car.

“And as long as we can give him a good race car, he loves the environment, he loves the team, he’s been on this journey.

“Obviously we were all a bit frustrated at the start of the year, but now two seconds on the trot, he’s qualified fifth, second and third.

“So I think as long as we keep doing that, then he’ll stick around.”

McLaren were forced to deny accusations they showed favouritism toward Norris at the Hungarian GP at the expense of his teammate Piastri. 

Piastri was comfortably ahead of Norris on the opening stint, having overtaken the Brit on the first corner.

However, McLaren chose to pit Norris first which allowed the 23-year-old to take advantage of the powerful undercut at the Hungaroring.

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A McLaren spokesperson commented: “Lando’s out lap was just super, super quick, which meant Oscar lost the position.

“To be honest, our approach to these situations is to think about team first.

“We think as a team, and then we deal with the internal situation.”