What does the future hold for F1 drivers Carlos Sainz Jr and Lando Norris? Although almost all the cockpits for the 2024 Formula 1 season have been filled, the silly season is in full swing. Now, the names of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and McLaren’s shooting star Lando Norris are back in the rumour mill.
Although Formula One drivers Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Lando Norris (McLaren) are tied to their current employers until the end of 2024 and 2025 respectively, speculation about their future in the premier league of motorsport continues. The pair had a successful partnership during their time together at McLaren, so could they become team mates once again?
Norris & Sainz partnership at McLaren
When Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr joined forces at McLaren for the 2019 Formula One season, few could have predicted the impact the duo would have both on and off the track. Often hailed for their camaraderie and competitive spirit, the partnership has become one of the sport’s most compelling storylines.
The synergy between the British rookie and the Spanish driver, now in his fifth season, helped rejuvenate a McLaren team eager to re-establish itself as a force in the premier league of motorsport.
Lando Norris entered Formula One with a reputation as a prodigious talent. His performances in the junior categories, including a runner-up finish in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, marked him out as a driver to watch. Carlos Sainz Jr, son of rally legend Carlos Sainz, joined McLaren with a wealth of experience from his stints with Toro Rosso and Renault. His consistency and racing skills had earned him respect in the paddock.
Together, Norris and Sainz formed a partnership at McLaren that was equal parts competitive and social. Their relationship struck a balance between fierce racing ambition and light-hearted friendship, setting a tone that would define their tenure as teammates.
On track synergy
On track, Norris and Sainz quickly proved to be a formidable pairing. Their complementary driving styles and feedback helped McLaren make significant strides in the development of the car. Sainz’s first podium in Brazil, coupled with Norris’s impressive rookie season, secured McLaren fourth place in the 2019 Constructors’ Championship – a remarkable achievement given the team’s struggles in previous seasons.
Their collective efforts continued to pay dividends in the 2020 season. Sainz secured another podium in Italy and Norris took his first in Austria, demonstrating the growing strength of both the team and the drivers.
Their combined efforts helped cement McLaren’s resurgence, as they continued to challenge the established midfield teams and occasionally threaten the traditional frontrunners.
Away from the track, Norris and Sainz became known for their infectious camaraderie. Their humorous exchanges in interviews and social media interactions endeared them to fans and brought a fresh, engaging dynamic to the sport. This off-track chemistry was not just for show; it translated into a collaborative environment within the team, fostering a culture where information and strategies were openly shared for the collective good.
Their partnership became a popular subplot of the F1 narrative, with the duo dubbed ‘McLaren’s bromance’ by fans. The relationship between Norris and Sainz showed that while F1 is an intensely competitive environment, there is room for genuine friendship and teamwork.
Sainz & Norris team mates again?
According to El Nacional, both drivers have been targeted by Michael Andretti. The former racing driver is planning to enter Formula One as an eleventh team with the help of US car manufacturer General Motors, ideally the year after next.
If this happens, the current basic agreement will apply, which stipulates that any new entrant will have to pay an entry fee of around 189 million euros, which will be shared between the existing teams. This amount is set to increase significantly from 2026.
It is still unclear whether Andretti will join, given the negative attitude of the established teams. What is clear, at least in broad terms, is how the US team plans to staff the cockpit when the Formula One adventure actually begins.
Ideally as well as a young American driver, as a reserve or in a race seat, the Andretti car will also feature an experienced F1 driver, perhaps even two if the situation becomes obvious that there is currently no US-based driver who is good enough.
Norris & Sainz under consideration for Andretti?
According to Spanish portal El Nacional, Sainz is a candidate. The 29-year-old is thought to have recently joined Audi, who will take Sauber’s place in F1 from 2026. Sainz is also supposedly an alternative at Red Bull if Sergio Perez is no longer available.
As well as Sainz, the report also mentions Norris as an option for Andretti. The British driver is only 24, but has been chasing points for McLaren since 2019 and is now considered one of the best drivers in the field.
According to El Nacional, signing the former Formula 3 champion would be complicated for Andretti. Norris has also been linked with a move to Red Bull in recent times.
Silly season does not appear to be stopping anytime soon.
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