Formula 1

McLaren’s Future with Lando Norris: Zak Brown Discusses Key Strategies for 2026 F1 Season

In a revealing interview, McLaren CEO Zak Brown has articulated the team’s plan to secure Lando Norris for the post-2025 Formula 1 era. Brown emphasized McLaren’s readiness for the upcoming regulatory changes and the high demand for Norris in the F1 paddock.

Key Takeaways:

  • Priority Signing: Zak Brown identified retaining Lando Norris beyond 2025 as McLaren’s next big priority, highlighting the driver’s coveted status among top F1 teams.
  • Team’s Competitive Edge: McLaren’s recent performance upswing and readiness for 2026’s new regulations were underscored, with Brown asserting that the team lacks nothing compared to other top contenders.
  • Norris’ Desirability and McLaren’s Position: Acknowledging the potential interest from other teams, Brown emphasized Norris’s comfort with McLaren and the team’s capacity to be a frontrunner in the upcoming reset of the sport.

Zak Brown, McLaren’s CEO, recently shed light on the team’s future plans, particularly regarding star driver Lando Norris. As the Formula 1 world braces for a significant shift in regulations post-2025, Brown’s comments come at a crucial juncture, revealing both the team’s strategy and Norris’s pivotal role in it.

Norris, only 24, has become a hot property in the F1 driver market, with his skill and potential drawing attention from several top teams. Brown, speaking to Speedcafe, did not mince words about Norris’s importance to McLaren and the team’s intention to retain him. He stated, “Yeah, I would say next priority. There are a lot of priorities, and certainly with Lando we’ve got some time, but he is a driver that everybody up and down the pit lane wants.”

The CEO further elaborated on the uncertain driver line-ups of other teams like Mercedes and the possible retirement of veterans such as Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez, underscoring the high demand for drivers of Norris’s caliber. “How much longer is Lewis going? What are Mercedes going to do? How much longer has Sergio [Perez] got? For sure, the three other big teams probably don’t have visibility as to their driver line-up beyond ’25. And I think with how Lando has performed, he would be top of everyone’s list.”

Brown also addressed the competitive aspect of McLaren, asserting its readiness for the 2026 regulations. “I think we’re in a great place with Lando. I think ’26 is a great opportunity for everyone to reset, and there is nothing we don’t have going into ’26 that any of the other teams have.”

This statement is significant in the context of McLaren’s recent resurgence, particularly in the latter half of the 2023 season, where the team significantly improved its performance, providing Norris with a more competitive car. Brown’s confidence in the team’s potential and Norris’s alignment with McLaren’s vision for the future suggest a strong likelihood of a continued partnership between the team and its star driver, making the upcoming seasons an exciting time for McLaren fans and F1 enthusiasts alike.

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