Question marks raised against Lando Norris’ decision to pen new McLaren contract

Lando Norris is off the market at a time when Mercedes and Red Bull are considering new drivers

Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Race Day. -
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain…

Doubts have been raised about why Lando Norris chose to commit himself to McLaren long-term.

Norris signed a new multi-year deal with his existing team ahead of the 2024 F1 season.

But, since then, Lewis Hamilton confirmed his 2025 move to Ferrari and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is now staggeringly being linked to Mercedes.

Norris is out of the running for a hectic silly season because of his decision to commit to McLaren.

Naomi Schiff told Sky Sports that she was surprised Norris chose to commit with two years remaining on his previous deal: “Absolutely. There was no need for him to sign that contract now.

“He still had a couple of years at McLaren signed for, already.

“There is a new set of regulations coming out in 2026. I understand, last year, that they totally turned the situation around and Max “Verstappen was the only driver to out-score Lando in the second part of the season.

“So, yes, there is excitement in the team.

“Who knows what that car will be like in 2026?

“Lando is a driver who is incredibly ambitious. He wants really big things for himself.

“You want to leave yourself in a position to do that. To sign so early…

“He knows the details. He has made his decision. I can’t comment more on that.

“But I would have waited.”

Damon Hill wondered if Norris and McLaren agreed their new contract while knowing about the deal that Hamilton and Ferrari were thrashing out.

Hill asked: “They must have got wind of what was going on…

“Once you look around at the sharp end, it looks very difficult.

“Sticking with a team on the up was his logic. That was the way he explained it: ‘They are going places, I am comfortable in this team, I believe in this team…’

“Sticking to it, in the absence of any obvious option, yes.

If there was something that ever unexpectedly came up, then these guys go into negotiations.

“You can’t hold someone to a team if they don’t want to be there.

“But I don’t expect that to happen.

“I think he fits well with McLaren. They can keep offering him a future.

“They are progressing every closer to the front end. Then, he will stay there.”

McLaren enjoyed an uplift in form in the second half of last year, propelling Norris and Oscar Piastri onto the podium.

Norris then finished in P6 at the season-opening F1 Bahrain Grand Prix at the weekend, a result which failed to live up the hype around McLaren as Red Bull’s closest competitors.

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