Norris's Decision To Sign With McLaren Questioned Amid Opportunities At Mercedes And Red Bull

by Adam OndrikSunday, 11 February 2024 at 22:00
norris lando mclaren imago motorsportimages
Formula 1 analyst Peter Windsor suggested signing with McLaren two years before his contract expiration "hasn't worked out" for Norris.
It is news that now hardly anyone remembers due to Hamilton's shocking move to Ferrari, but Lando Norris extended his contract with McLaren, which was supposed to expire at the end of 2025.
Norris signed a multi-year deal, and while various clauses in his contract are not public, it is assumed the British driver is now tied to his team at least until the end of the 2027 season. Peter Windsor said:

"Nobody’s talking about this, but why did he rush into signing such a long-term contract with McLaren now?" "There were potentially going to be options at Mercedes, Ferrari, and maybe Red Bull."

Ferrari is not an option anymore as Charles Leclerc has taken one seat, and Hamilton signed for the other one; however, the seven-time World Champion left an empty seat in Mercedes - one of the best teams on the grid.
While Norris already explained why he wouldn't want to go to Red Bull, Mercedes seems like a very good option for the 24-year-old. Windsor continued:

"So if you’re Lando Norris – who’s on everybody’s lips as one of the great stars of the future and you’re a good guy and you race well – why wouldn’t you have kept your options open for at least three or four months until Monaco?"

The F1 analyst suggested it hasn't been the best move for the British driver strategy-wise, because now, the doors in all the best teams are closed to him,

"Why sign now? It hasn’t worked out very well for him, in my opinion. He’s got a nice deal with McLaren, but he’s still got Oscar Piastri – who isn’t slow – in the other car, and he’s now got no chance of getting the Mercedes drive or the Red Bull drive."