McLaren deny rumours while Norris flounders

Lando Norris is believed to be one of the hottest properties in Formula One and is currently locked in by McLaren to a five year contract. However the British driver is becoming increasingly disillusioned with his teams performance with the latest failure to score points at the recent 2023 Spanish Grand Prix.

The young British driver qualified third on the grid for the race in Barcelona yet immediately quashed expectations this bode well for the race.



Norris struggles in Spanish GP

Norris finished the race P17 and much of his initial woe was due to a collision with Lewis Hamilton at turn two. His getaway from the grid was not his best and Norris failed to defend the inside line allowing Hamilton to breed by before the first corner.

The coming together meant Lando had to pit at the end of the lap for a new front wing and he never recovered from there.

His team mate Oscar Piastri who also qualified in the top 10 found the race tough going and slid down the order to finish just P13 at the chequered flag.

Ferrari boss details big problems



McLaren woeful season to date

Without the Hamilton incident on lap one team boss Andrea Stella believes Lando may have claimed a point or two.

“I think he could have been in the group of cars with Zhou, Tsunoda, just behind the Aston Martin. I think we could have been in that group. Ahead or behind, I’m not sure.”

However, McLaren who were battling Alpine for fourth in the constructors’ championship last season have just 17 points from 7 races and trail their arch rivals by a further 23 points.

Lando Norris is tied contractually to the Woking based team until the end of 2025 though given the woeful performance at McLaren he may yet decide another two and a half years is too long to languish in the F1 wilderness.



High profile new McLaren appointment

Having sacked their Technical Director and returned to a version of the McLaren ‘matrix’ management structure, the team made a big announcement this weekend over the signing of a new high profile senior team member.

Rob Marshall has been with Red Bull Racing since their inception and was the team’s chief designer for 10 years until in 2016 he took the role of chief engineering officer.

Marshall will join the team in January next year and will work alongside Peter Prodromou and David Sanchez reporting directly into team boss Andrea Stella.

Huge row over Pirelli mid season tyre change



Rumours of McLaren signing with Red Bull Powertrains

As Christian Horner explained Marshall has worked on a number of projects in recent times across the business including the newly formed Red Bull Power Trains (RBPT).

Given McLaren and Williams have yet to declare who they will partner with when the new Formula One power units arrive for the 2026 season, this appointment created speculation that McLaren would leave Mercedes and hook up with Red Bull for their engine.

Under their previous boss Ron Dennis, the team were determined to source a supply or ‘works’ engines because as he repeatedly stated, “You can’t win a championship with a customer engine.”

So it was with some surprise McLaren failed to secure a deal with Honda when it became clear they would be providing power units but not with Red Bull in 2026. Instead the Japanese manufacturer has signed a contract to supply Aston Martin who together with their new Silverstone facility and wind tunnel are becoming a force at the front of the grid.



Stella claims advanced talks with Mercedes

Without a ‘works’ power unit deal available McLaren are left with the decision to remain with Mercedes or seek pastures new.

Yet despite the appointment of Marshall team boss Stella is now quashing rumours of an impending deal with RBPT.

“I can confirm there is no link,” said Stella.

“We had conversations with Red Bull a few months ago as part of the due diligence in exploring what’s available in the market in terms of power unit for 2026. 

“But at the moment, we are quite advanced in our negotiations with HPP, so there’s no conversation ongoing with Red Bull.”

Marshall’s experience plus the lack of animosity from Red Bull – which is normative when a senior member of many years standing leaves for another team – had led seasoned F1 observers to believe  a deal between McLaren and Red Bull was in the offing.

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