Lando Norris has signed a contract extension with McLaren to fuel their Formula One title ambitions and take the 24-year-old British driver into the sport’s new engine era in 2026 and beyond. The deal announced on Friday also put to bed current “silly season” speculation about Norris possibly switching to Red Bull as a future team mate of triple champion Max Verstappen.
Like Ferrari on Thursday, with the announcement of Charles Leclerc’s extension, McLaren did not give terms of the deal but said the pairing of Norris and 22-year-old Australian Oscar Piastri was confirmed “until at least the end of 2026. Norris’s previous four-year contract, agreed in February 2022, ran to the end of 2025 and McLaren boss Zak Brown said the new one went “well beyond”.
Asked why he had extended before the season had started, Norris told reporters: “Because I can. I’m in a good position, it’s not something that I want to really worry about over the next two years. It’s just a very good time, especially when you’re suddenly coming to a couple of years where things start to get a bit more crazy with everyone else’s contracts and people potentially moving teams.
“And just going into 2026, those years of new regulations and everything, that’s not something I or the team want to be focusing on or spending any time on in such an important couple of years. Norris made his debut with McLaren in 2019 and said staying was an easy decision. Although yet to win a grand prix, that is surely a matter of time after six seconds places and a third last year.
“It’s a team that I want to just continue my story with in terms of reaching my goal of winning races and winning championships,” said Norris.
“I’m very much part of the family and also very much enjoying where I am. That’s obviously a big part of it. I don’t want to join a different team and not enjoy anything.
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) January 26, 2024
“As much as I do want to just be in a team that’s the quickest one, I’m also here because I love racing and I want to have fun and enjoy all of that. Really that’s my number one thing at the end of the day.
“I want to be with a team that I love and enjoy every moment with and that’s McLaren.” Team principal Andrea Stella compared Norris to past greats he has worked with. He’s the same kind of world championship material. The underlying talent, the mindset, the work ethos, it’s all ready to go,” said the Italian, who previously worked with seven-times champion Michael Schumacher at Ferrari.
“There’s a characteristic of champions that they only get better. Real champions they seem to improve year by year. And I think that’s the case. McLaren, the second most successful team after Ferrari, last won a championship with Lewis Hamilton in 2008 — the first of the Briton’s record-equalling seven.
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