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Brown "confident" McLaren can keep Norris long-term despite Red Bull interest

Zak Brown feels “confident” Lando Norris can be persuaded to commit his long-term Formula 1 future to McLaren, despite the British driver continuing to attract interest from rival Red Bull.

Lando Norris, McLaren, talks to the media

Photo by: Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

Norris currently has a contract to race with McLaren – where he has competed ever since he entered F1 as a rookie back in 2019 – until the end of the 2025 campaign.

But as uncertainty over Sergio Perez’s position as Max Verstappen’s team-mate at Red Bull continues given Perez’s poor pace and race showing against the world champion, speculation remains that the team could make an audacious swoop for another driver – especially if other possible Perez replacements at AlphaTauri in Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda are not deemed worthy of a promotion.

Norris has also courted interest from Red Bull before, as he was offered a drive at what was then called Toro Rosso in 2018 when racing in Formula 2 and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has confirmed: “We’ve spoken to Lando a couple of times over the years”.

Autosport sources have also suggested that even after Norris signed his latest McLaren contract in early 2022, informal interest from Red Bull has continued and he is known to get on well with Verstappen.

When asked how serious Red Bull is thought to be about signing Norris at McLaren’s 2024 livery launch event for select media, including Autosport, Brown replied: “I have a belief, that whether its employees, drivers, sponsors – that’s our job to take care of them and for them to want to be at McLaren.

“So, I tend to focus on making sure that McLaren is the best place environment and people want to be with us.

“Because you ultimately can’t control external approaches to those various people.

Lando Norris, McLaren livery

Photo by: McLaren

Lando Norris, McLaren livery

“So, no, I’m very confident the relationship that we have with Lando [remains strong].

“I know he’s very excited for this year and was very impressed with what he saw in the second half of last year.

“He loves working with Andrea and everyone on the team. So, all we need to keep doing is giving him the environment he wants to be in.

“And then I’m confident he’ll stick around, as opposed to trying to kind of sell against the competition. That’s never been my way.”

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