Norris admits to "little chats" with rival teams


Having extended his contract with McLaren until 2025, Lando Norris admits to having "little chats" with other teams.

Heading into the summer break, the Briton was third in the standings, and it was not through want of effort that he had slipped to sixth by season end, his team experiencing a poor run-in to the season finale.

Essentially number one at Woking, despite his teammate having far more experience, it comes as no surprise to hear that Norris was 'approached' by a number of teams.

"There were opportunities that I think we knew would be coming up in the future with various teams," says the Briton. "But this is a very strong message to put out about the faith we have in each other and how strongly I believe McLaren can recover still and get to the front in the next few years, even with those opportunities that could arise in one year, two years, three years' time.

"There were little chats here and there," he admits, "but that's all and nothing went far. As soon as something came up, that's when I would go to Andreas and have a little conversation about what our future holds and so on.

"There were little things, no point lying about it, there were little things here and there with other teams, but nothing that went far at all."

Asked to name names, Norris replied: "That's something I can't say. You'd probably be able to guess reasonably well.

"I have to weigh in all the factors, it's still my own career that I am focusing on," he continues. "I looked at all the best options for me, as a driver, the best for me as a person and in the longer term, what is the best thing for me.

"Of course, there will be opportunities for other drivers I am sure to maybe go to Red Bull or Mercedes. Who knows if I would have had those opportunities. I think the fact that it's known, or the fact I would have had those opportunities but I still chose to stay with McLaren, is the good thing about all of this, that I know those opportunities, or I am confident that those opportunities, would arise in the next few years.

"But the fact is, I still have chosen to commit to McLaren, so I think that's quite a strong message, it's quite a strong thing that this is still where I want to be, it's where I want to achieve race wins and podiums and championships, and that's all.

"It shows it's a very strong message. I did weigh in all the factors for my own benefit and what I think could have come up in the next few years with drivers leaving and so on. But in the end, McLaren for me was still the best option, so that's why I am most happy to be here and commit to my team."

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Published: 10/02/2022
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