McLaren announced Norris’ new multi-year deal just a week before Lewis Hamilton’s bombshell switch to Ferrari was confirmed.
It means McLaren have Norris and Oscar Piastri locked in as their drivers until at the end of 2026 at the earliest, while ensuring their prized assets are under contract at Woking.
It’s likely McLaren CEO Zak Brown might have known about Hamilton’s potential move to Ferrari, explaining why he was keen to sign Norris on a new deal to resist potential interest from Mercedes or Red Bull.
Speaking on his personal YouTube channel, Windsor - who was team manager for Williams and Ferrari in the past - scrutinised Norris’ decision to sign another new deal with McLaren so hastily.
“Nobody’s talking about this, but why did he rush into signing such a long-term contract with McLaren now?,” Windsor said. “He didn’t need to do that.
“It was obvious that McLaren would want to keep him because [McLaren chief executive] Zak Brown’s been supporting him and he’s been part of the Zak Brown thing going back to Formula 3, so that was never going to go away. But there were potentially going to be options at Mercedes, Ferrari and maybe Red Bull.
“So if you’re Lando Norris – who’s on everybody’s lips as one of the great stars of the future and you’re a good guy and you race well – why wouldn’t you have kept your options open for at least three or four months until Monaco? Why sign now? It hasn’t worked out very well for him, in my opinion.
“He’s got a nice deal with McLaren, but he’s still got Oscar Piastri – who isn’t slow – in the other car and he’s now got no chance of getting the Mercedes drive or the Red Bull drive.”
Windsor is convinced Red Bull will opt to sign Alex Albon again as Perez’s replacement, claiming the Thai driver has signed a three-year deal.
“It’s going to go to Alex Albon. If you’re Lando Norris, you’re thinking: ‘I’m better than Albon, surely, and it looks like he’s going to get the Red Bull drive,” he added.
“I find that a really odd bit of planning. All credit to Zak Brown for pushing Lando into signing as early as he has.
“That’s all I can assume, that Zak made it one of his missions of the winter to get Lando signed up and he’s got him.
“If I was Lando and I’d followed my manager’s advice, I wouldn’t be very impressed, I have to say.
“Why did he do that? Why did he rush into it like that? He doesn’t know how it’s going to work out this year.”