Before the start of the 2022 Formula 1 season, Lando Norris had already extended his contract with McLaren until the end of 2025. Now the British driver has revealed that he has had exploratory talks with several teams beforehand, not just Red Bull as previously reported.
In an exclusive interview with Autosport published in this week’s edition of the magazine, Norris says: “First of all, the talks I said I was having with Red Bull are a very basic thing.”
“Every driver tries to talk to every team. However, not always. That’s why I signed such a long contract, so I don’t have to worry about all that for a while. But when a contract is coming to an end, you always want to talk to as many people as possible to weigh up your options and know what might be the better way forward for you.”
“So it wasn’t just with Red Bull,” Norris reveals further.
“It was different conversations with different people. What could happen now? What could possibly happen in the future? Everybody has those conversations. Everybody does that towards the end of every contract. That’s a fact.”
Norris “very happy at the moment”
He ultimately signed a long contract “because I didn’t want to think about those things”, says the 23-year-old.
Yet the last contract extension in February 2022 came just months after the first in May 2021.
As recently as November of that year, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner revealed that he had met with Norris for preliminary talks immediately before the 23-year-old signed with McLaren.
“We’ve spoken to Lando a few times over the years,” he revealed.
“But every time we’ve had a conversation, he’s signed a contract with McLaren the next day.”
Norris expects to have similar conversations with team bosses when his current McLaren contract comes up for renewal. Until then, he doesn’t want to have to keep thinking about his future until “the time is right”.
On the McLaren decision, he says:
“I knew if there was nothing out there tempting enough to go, especially for me, at my age and where I am in my career right now, McLaren was by far the best option for me.”
“I’m sure it will come up again in a couple of years when my contract is up. But at the moment I’m very happy and I don’t have to think about things like that. I only think about it when the time comes,” Norris said.