Lando Norris made decision despite blocking Red Bull and Mercedes moves

Following a strong 2023 season, Lando Norris garnered interest over the winter from some of the biggest teams in Formula One.

Readers of Express Sport believe that Lando Norris signed a new contract with McLaren at the right time. In January, the 24-year-old made a commitment to a new long-term contract amid rumors that he was in talks with Mercedes and Red Bull, the current champions.

Although Norris had a contract with McLaren that ran out at the end of the 2025 season, the Bristol-born driver decided to commit his long-term future to the Woking-based team after seeing significant advancements in the team’s development at the end of the 2023 campaign.

Many in the paddock found this decision to be intriguing because Norris had been heavily tipped to be Max Verstappen’s future teammate, should Sergio Perez be unable to persuade Red Bull executives that he was worth a contract extension past the end of the 2024 season.

With the signing of the new contract, Norris eliminated himself from the running to replace Verstappen alongside Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, following the seven-time world champion’s unexpected decision to sign a contract with Ferrari at the beginning of February.

Readers of Express Sport, however, claim that Norris wasn’t incorrect to opt for an early contract. In response to a survey of 7,057 Formula One fans, 57% of respondents said the 24-year-old was right to maintain faith in the McLaren organization, while 43% thought his most recent contract was a mistake.

After the Bahrain season opener, Norris’ choice seemed to have held up rather well. Despite the MCL38’s design not being suited for the Sakhir International Circuit, the team managed to maintain pressure on Mercedes with P7 and P9 finishes, securing their position as the grid’s joint-third fastest team.

Following the season’s first weekend, Norris gave Sky Sports an assessment of the standings, saying, “I think everyone is closer, I don’t think it was as easy for Max.” I believe we need to visit some racetracks, particularly on a day like today, when you want a fast, well-performing race car with good tires.

That’s about as good as Red Bull gets, in my opinion. Therefore, I’m hoping that in some areas, we will be closer. We will still have difficulties in some areas, but I believe that everyone is more squeezed. I believe that everyone is getting closer, including Mercedes, Ferrari, Aston [Martin], and us—perhaps not so much the Astons these days for some reason.

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