Norris has enjoyed a spectacular 2021 campaign, scoring four podium finishes which leaves him fourth in the drivers’ championship ahead of current Red Bull driver Sergio Perez.

His early-season form earned Norris a new multi-year deal with McLaren which was announced in May ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Since then, Norris finished second at Monza before losing out on the win in Russia after he refused to switch to intermediates when the downpour arrived.

Red Bull has retained Perez alongside Verstappen for 2022, while Norris will spear McLaren's charge into F1's new era alongside Daniel Ricciardo. 

Speaking to Austrian publication OE24, Marko said: "We had talks with him, but he's tied to McLaren for the long-term. We stay true to our way.

Marko still believes Verstappen is the greater talent but admits Norris “caught his eye” with his run of strong performances in 2021.

“I'm proud that we dared to bring Max into Formula 1 at the age of 16,” he added. “He never made me doubt our path was the right one. He is always super focused and nothing can dissuade him from his goal of winning."

“Max is at the top of my ranking because he can deliver immediately in all conditions and without making a mistake, which he impressively demonstrated in the rain of Sochi [in the Russian Grand Prix]. He almost won the race. He only had to come into the pits one lap earlier.”

Verstappen sits just two points behind Lewis Hamilton in the race for this year's drivers' championship.