Why Not Red Bull? Norris Explains Why He Chose McLaren Over Championship Winners

by Adam OndrikSaturday, 27 January 2024 at 07:00
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Lando Norris described in an interview his recent for not choosing Red Bull, which at the moment seems like it could offer him higher chances of success in the future.
Lando Norris's contract with McLaren was due to end the 2025 season. While some drivers wait until one year before extending their contracts, McLaren was keen on securing Norris as soon as possible, knowing there would be huge interest in the 24-year-old.
As a consequence, we got an announcement yesterday from the Papaya team saying Norris signed a new "multi-year" deal with them. Asked why he didn't choose the dominant team at this time (Red Bull), Norris said according to Sky Sports:

"Considering we are talking about the most competitive and successful car in the history of Formula 1 over a season - and I think you have to include the driver in that too - how close we got at certain places with where we started [last] season, I think was pretty impressive."

McLaren showed real strength in the development of the car last year, and with two new key hires (from Red Bull and Ferrari) confirming the team is on the right path, the future seems bright.

"To go from out of the points pretty much every single race to being probably the closest team on average to the most successful car that's ever been in Formula 1, I think showed me enough, and showed everyone here at McLaren enough, that we have what it takes to challenge them."

On the other hand, the 24-year-old admitted there is always a thought at the back of his mind about how things could have gone had he made a different decision:

"Of course, there's always interest, and in the back of my mind, it's always like, 'What would happen if I went here, and what could I achieve?' and so forth."

Nevertheless, the British driver has been with the McLaren F1 team ever since he joined Formula 1. Being in the team for five seasons, he feels more comfortable than he would anywhere else.

"But I'm happy with where I am, I'm comfortable, and I think in order to achieve a world championship, you need to be happy and comfortable with where you're at."

More importantly, Norris believes his team has what it takes to challenge Red Bull for the Championship in the future. Otherwise, he wouldn't have stayed in McLaren. The McLaren driver added he doesn't believe success can be achieved by just switching teams.

"I don't think you are able to achieve that by suddenly switching to another team and finding that within a year. So that's why I think it's best."