Lando Norris extended his contract with McLaren on Wednesday, revealing in the process that he has had some contact with other teams, but it has been long suspected and now confirmed that McLaren has been in deep discussions with VAG with a view to gain works status with Audi.
In the years to come, we will continue to see Lando Norris at the wheel of a McLaren. Indeed, on Wednesday, the Briton extended his contract with the team until 2025 confessing that “I’m super happy to be continuing in Formula One with the team I grew up with.”
“It’s a sign of mutual trust over the long term,” Norris said of the extension.
Lando Norris will therefore continue with McLaren, although he admits that he had some contact with other teams, describing ‘little chats’ with Red Bull and Mercedes.
“There were small discussions here and there but that’s all, nothing went very far. As soon as something came up, I kept going to Andreas (Seidl) and having a conversation about what the future held.
“There were small chats with some teams, no reason to lie about it, but nothing important. I think we knew there would be opportunities with other teams in the future. It’s a strong message we’re sending to everyone.”
It has been a badly kept secret that VAG (Volkswagen Audi Group) has been talking to Formula 1 for some time with a view to entering at least one brand, possibly two, into F1. Of these brands, Porsche has been linked to Red Bull and Audi to McLaren.
TJ13 understands that the McLaren talks with Audi have been looking promising, and this along with the retention of team boss Andreas Seidl and James Key are committed to the long term with McLaren will no doubt be a big part of why Lando Norris has also committed to the team.