Christian Horner has confirmed Red Bull held their latest series of talks with Lando Norris before he signed a new contract at McLaren until the end of the 2025 season. Red Bull have long been linked to the 22-year-old, but Horner has expressed his frustration about the consistent outcome of discussions.
Norris’ stock has soared since joining McLaren in 2019, and he has cemented himself as the team’s number one driver this season, currently sitting as the world championship’s ‘best of the rest’ in seventh on 111 points. But Red Bull’s interest is no secret, with Helmut Marko first targeting him to replace Brendon Hartley at Toro Rosso in 2018.
Despite Norris’ initial rejection, the appeal hasn’t dissolved. And Horner has suggested the team’s most recent contact with Norris over a potential high-profile switch came before he penned a long-term deal at McLaren in February.
“We’ve spoken with Lando a couple of times over the years. But every time we’ve had a conversation, the next day, he’s signed a contract with McLaren. He’s on a long-term contract and looks like he’s going to be there for a few more years,” Horner explained.
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Max Verstappen is currently contracted to Red Bull until 2028, and both parties will undoubtedly be delighted by his success so far. Sergio Perez should be within the ranks until at least the end of 2024, when speculation surrounding Norris will likely be rife once again.
During Mexican Grand Prix weekend, Norris also admitted that there were talks with Red Bull before he committed his future to McLaren. However, he played down the idea of concrete discussions about joining the team and was instead considering his ideas across the grid.
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He told Auto Motor und Sport: “Of course, there are talks with other people from time to time. You always ask yourself the question: What’s best for your career? After all, I want to win and win world championships. There have been talks with Red Bull. They are a team that has been in the top three for years.
“I was coming to the end of my contract, and it wasn’t like [Red Bull and I] were talking heavily. I literally said it was just that everyone always tries to speak to all teams at some point, so I spoke to them, and I spoke to a few other people. A chat’s a chat. It’s not like, ‘what can we do straight away?’ Just keeping in touch, things like that, it’s as simple as that sometimes.”