McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl is delighted to have Lando Norris on board until the end of 2025 after the 22-year-old signed a new contract with the team.
Norris signed a new deal with the Woking side that will see him remain with the team for the next four seasons as McLaren attempt to climb back up the order in Formula 1.
While there are normally clauses in contracts – such as Max Verstappen’s performance clause at Red Bull – Seidl confirmed that there is full commitment from both team and driver, and thus no exit clauses have been included.
“The beauty of this new agreement that we have in place is that there’s no get-outs, on both sides, which is [an] important message that we wanted to give to the team as well,” he said, as quoted by RacingNews365.com.
“That shows that we’re in this together and that there’s a strong belief from both sides, from our side in the talent Lando is but, at the same time, from Lando’s side in believing that we can actually get there in the next few years.”
Norris himself reinforced his allegiance to the team that gave him his Formula 1 debut in 2019.
“In every contract, there’s various things but, in terms of my one for the next four years, there’s a heavy commitment from my side to just commit to doing what I want to do, and I’m achieving stuff with the team,” he added.
The five-time podium finisher’s previous contract ran until the end of 2023, and should his team be unable to efficiently adapt to the all-new technical regulations this year, he then may have been able to slip away and find a better team.
However, the Briton has faith in the squad that they will work hard to further progress towards the front of the grid, and this is the reason he has pledged his future to the British side.
“In doing so, and especially coming into this year, the thing a lot of people would think is to just stay with my previous contract, which would have ended next year or whenever, [especially] when we’re so early in this new era of cars and the new regulations and so on,” he explained.
“I knew that was a chance and there was an opportunity for other teams to make big steps forward, and maybe we go backward. But I don’t think that’s something I need to be worried about.
“I’m confident in the team that we can have a good season this year and, whatever happens this year, [it] doesn’t mean we might be struggling for the next five to 10 years.
“I have belief that, even if we have a tougher year this year – which I don’t think we will, I’m confident we won’t – the next two to three years, when we get the wind tunnel up and running, then we can make that progress we need.”
While his boss confirmed that there is no escape clause, Norris indicated that there are “things here and there” within the new deal, but he remains loyal to McLaren.
“So, of course, there’s things here and there like there is in every single person’s contract. But, in terms of my commitment, it is very high. So I’m confident I’ll be here for the next four years,” he affirmed.
The 22-year-old was not working on his new contract alone; he had plenty of assistance around him to ensure he got the best possible outcome from the new agreement signed yesterday.
“I have a whole team that goes through everything with me, that obviously weighs up all these options and so on,” he commented.
“It’s not solely just me. I have my manager Mark Berryman, a guy who I’ve been with for almost 10 years now, since karting. He’s the main guy, he does all the talking and so on!
“I’ve got my dad and a lot more people in the background to do all the contract stuff as well.
“I have my team of people I have faith and confidence in, and my family and so on. All people who can give me different opinions on what they think is best, and what they think is bad and good.”
Having assessed all possibilities, Norris concluded that McLaren is the best team for him to be at both at this stage of his career, and in the long run as they attempt to win their first title since Sir Lewis Hamilton’s drivers’ success in 2008.
“I had a look at all the best options for me, and what I think is one [where] I can be most successful in, and where I think I can achieve the best,” he detailed.
“But also what I believe is the best for me as a driver, the best for me as a person and, in the longer term, what is the best thing for me?”
Norris will once again partner Daniel Ricciardo for the 2022 season, with the pair having guided McLaren to fourth in the Constructors’ Championship last year.
The Woking squad will reveal this year’s F1 challenger on 11 February, in a presentation that also features their Esports, Extreme-E and IndyCar projects.