McLaren’s Team Principal, Andrea Stella, recently delved into the ongoing contract negotiations with Lando Norris. In a sport where loyalty can be as fleeting as a pit stop, McLaren is determined to retain their star driver amidst persistent speculations of his potential shift to rival teams.
McLaren’s rising talent, Oscar Piastri, recently inked a lucrative three-year contract extension, marking a significant milestone after a remarkable debut season. Meanwhile, Norris is contractually bound to McLaren through 2025, solidifying the team’s existing driver duo that recently basked in the glory of a double podium finish at Suzuka.
Amid the ceaseless whispers of Norris flirting with the prospect of donning the scarlet Ferrari or the electrifying Red Bull livery, McLaren is on the offensive, ensuring Norris remains firmly in their grasp. This proactive stance is rooted in Norris’s previous rejections of Red Bull’s enticing offers.
Stella, the maestro orchestrating McLaren’s pursuit, emphasizes the importance of concrete on-track progress and genuine accomplishments to secure Norris’s trust and unwavering commitment. McLaren is not in the business of making empty promises; they are in the business of nurturing talent.
The momentum behind McLaren’s ongoing discussions with Norris is palpable. The young British prodigy has previously turned down numerous overtures from Red Bull, a testament to the trust he places in McLaren’s vision. Even Red Bull’s motorsport guru, Helmut Marko, had his eye on Norris as the heir apparent for Sergio Perez come 2025. Addressing Norris’s escalating allure among rival outfits, Stella candidly remarked, “Certainly, I would put McLaren at the top of your list.”
For Stella, McLaren’s trajectory on the racetrack is pivotal in retaining Norris’s allegiance. Despite a challenging start to the season, the team’s fortunes took a dramatic upswing with the unveiling of a substantially improved car in Austria, propelling them to regular podium finishes. Stella’s philosophy is simple: actions speak louder than words. “To gain that vote of confidence, we went back to the fundamentals,” Stella explained, underscoring the value of sincerity and concrete achievements in their conversations.
“We’re certainly having conversations with Lando,” Stella further shared. “They are good conversations. We are happy with how these conversations are going.”
Furthermore, Stella was quick to dispel any notions that Oscar Piastri’s recent contract renewal was a knee-jerk reaction to the impending 2026 regulation changes. Instead, he exudes optimism that Piastri and Norris will continue to be the dynamic driving force behind McLaren’s aspirations for the foreseeable future.
“We don’t need to buy people in; we want people to give us the vote of confidence to stay with us genuinely, truly believing in the journey together with McLaren.”