RACE DEBRIEF

    Lando Norris has opened up about the reasons behind his latest McLaren renewal and why he chose to commit to the team by signing a fresh “multi-year” contract over a potential move elsewhere on the F1 grid.

    Norris had another two seasons left on his previous McLaren deal but the two parties announced a further extension to that agreement on Friday, meaning he and re-signed team mate Oscar Piastri will form the Woking outfit’s driver line-up for the foreseeable future.

    READ MORE: Norris agrees new ‘extended multi-year’ contract with McLaren

    Asked why he signed a new contract now, given the time he had before the aforementioned renewal was due to come up, Norris said: “Because I can. I’m in a good position. It’s not something I want to worry about over the next few years.

    “There’s always been these discussions going on, on our future, and I think it’s a very good time, especially when it’ll be coming to a couple of years when things start to get a bit more crazy with everyone else’s contracts and people potentially moving teams and things like that.

    “And just going into 2026, and those years of the new regulations and everything, it’s not something I or the team want to be thinking of, or focusing on, or spending any time on in such an important couple of years.”

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    Norris and Piastri have both locked in their immediate F1 futures with McLaren

    As for rumours persistently linking him to Red Bull in recent years, Norris joked that he had “enjoyed” reading the many stories in the media, but then – on a more serious note – underlined the benefit of his renewal on the McLaren workforce.

    “I think for the whole team, everyone here, everyone at McLaren, that’s probably the most important thing, you know,” he commented. “I’m sure when you work here and you have one of your drivers and you see them getting linked to other teams, that’s just probably never an easy thing to see, and you probably question it at times.

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    “I think from my side, to get everyone here at McLaren just that bit more, you know, confident within me, and [it] shows my confidence in the whole team. I think that’s really the most important thing I’m happiest about with getting the contract out.

    “They’re even more assured that I’m committed to the team and staying, and that I’ve picked McLaren over Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, whatever team it could have been. They now have that reassurance that I’ve picked McLaren over all of them.

    “I think it’s more for them than it is for myself and all these things, but I do enjoy seeing the rumours and the conspiracies every now and then – so, yeah, I think that’s the main reason for it.”

    Norris added that it is normal procedure for drivers to have conversations with different teams as they mull over their futures, although in his case these never got to an advanced stage.

    “Everyone speaks to everyone,” the 24-year-old Briton continued. “Every driver speaks to every team, and it’s not in terms of like everyone’s just sorting out contracts, it’s what can one team offer you and what can another team offer you, and things like that.

    ANALYSIS: Loyalty, title-winning ambitions and unwavering faith – Norris and McLaren is a partnership that just works

    “It’s the same with every driver, everyone speaks to every team, what could we potentially do one day, but nothing ever progresses more than that basically – we shut [it] down quite quickly.

    “Of course, you do start to get some of these questions and you see some of it, then you have talks internally with Andrea [Stella, McLaren Team Principal] and Zak [Brown, McLaren CEO], with whoever at McLaren, then you start talking about your own stuff.

    “You do want to put some of these rumours to bed because it’s not a good [thing] that the team keeps seeing day in day out, so that’s why we’ve come to a decision so early on, and so quickly – hopefully that does put those questions to bed nicely.”