Lando Norris, McLaren, Autodromo do Algarve, 2021

Norris commits to McLaren with new “multi-year” deal

2021 F1 season

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Lando Norris has extended his deal to drive for McLaren after signing a new “multi-year” agreement with the team.

McLaren said in a statement the new deal “cements the McLaren driver line-up for the coming years”, as Norris’ team mate Daniel Ricciardo already has a long-term contract in place.

Norris made his Formula 1 debut with McLaren in 2019 and has scored two podium finishes since then, most recently in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix at Imola. He was previously part of the team’s junior driver programme.

“Having been with the team for almost five years, I feel very much part of the family here and I couldn’t imagine starting the next phase of my career anywhere else,” said the 21-year-old. “McLaren has been a huge support since my days in junior series and I’ve really enjoyed learning and developing as a driver since.”

Team principal Andreas Seidl said the decision to lock Norris in on a long-term deal was “very straightforward” for McLaren.

“Lando has impressed us since his rookie year with his performances, and his evolution as a driver since then has been clear to see. He’s an integral part of our performance recovery plan and his record so far, securing two podiums with the team over the past year, has shown he’s a formidable competitor on track.

“Like him, we have strong ambitions for our future together and I’m pleased we’re continuing this journey for both Lando and the team. In Lando and Daniel we have a hugely talented and exciting driver line-up, and this announcement is a strong signal of commitment to the next chapter for McLaren from 2022 onwards.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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34 comments on “Norris commits to McLaren with new “multi-year” deal”

    1. pastaman (@)
      19th May 2021, 12:27

      My favorite driver pairing on the grid

      1. Mine too! Fun to watch, great on and off the track. If they could race in the Gulf livery permanently it would make it even more enjoyable to watch them!

  1. brilliant news !

  2. Dan Rooke (@geekzilla9000)
    19th May 2021, 9:15

    Good, Norris is a great driver and seems like a great fit at McLaren. He has his detractors (but then again, you even see folk knocking Lewis Hamilton’s talents!) and I look forward to him developing on track. Fingers crossed McLaren can continue their upward trend and provide their drivers with competitive equipment.

    A short while ago he seemed like an apprehensive driver at the start of races, but he was just being cautious while he was learning. He’s an intelligent driver and seems to have natural talent – the future is bright, the future’s orange*!

    *Papaya

    1. He hasn’t Hamilton’s quality level. Hamilton beat a champion in his rookie year, and he was special in every category he drove, you could see he was special. Norris on the other side seems to be an intelligent oportunist driver, that grabs the good place when the chance arises. He hasn’t the best race pace or the best qualifying rithym, but he maximizes opportunities that arise.

      Reply moderated
  3. Now that’s how you do a contract extension.

    1. Great news indeed. However, always remember: never to miss an opportunity to bring Hamilton into the comments.

      1. Hamilton? Who is that Hamilton?

  4. Great. Like Seidl says, he’s growing all the time and can both qualify and race. Long-term signing for continuity and peace of mind is wise.

    McLaren is very easy to like these days.

  5. Like with Leclerc, this was essentially about extending an already existing contract stint as he wasn’t out of contract at the end of this year beforehand, not that I ever doubted he wouldn’t continue longer-term. Mclaren is perhaps the most likable team in F1 presently, so happy for this news, given Ricciardo is on a three-year deal, so no driver changes forthcoming for now.

  6. That’s a great line up locked in, smart move by McLaren with Norris stock rising at the moment.

  7. Brilliant news, very good of McLaren. I think they now have the best driver line up on the grid, Ricciardo and Norris

  8. Good choice for McLaren, with Norris and Ricciardo they have a about as solid a set of drivers as a team in the midfield can hope to attract and a good mix of young talent and an experienced race winner.

    For their sake I hope they won’t have to experience the 10th anniversary of McLaren’s last win, which is coming up next season.

    1. Lets not mention it will also be the 24th (?) anniversary of their last constructors championship!!

    2. Would be fun to see them celebrate such anniversaries! If you take for example the moment where they hugged each other after ending 3rd in the constructors in the end of 2020 and use it for that would make for a good parody!

  9. I’ll be honest, as a McLaren fan I wasn’t too optimistic at the appointment of Brown some years ago, but boy has he proved me wrong. Good, gradual improvements over the past seasons, fantastic atmosphere within the team, great driver choices (and so nice to see the confidence in them), a brilliant decision to lure in Seidl etc. I don’t know how realistic it is to see the team fighting for world championships with next year’s rules, but finally I dare to be optimistic, and you know what, even if it won’t come true, I’ll be proud to support them.

    1. The chess game never stops. I believe Brown and Seidl want to stay out of the seat war that’s boiling between RedBull and Mercedes. Bottas, Hamilton and Perez contracts are ending and Verstappen’s exit clause is a big question mark. So, we have the four fastest seats still open for 2022/2023.

      So, having your drivers all settled up makes people look elsewhere.

    2. Is it to do with Brown’s appointment in 2016? Or Boullier and Alonso’s exit in 2018?

      I think it was the shock of the 2018 season that made Mclaren the team they are today. It was that season where Bouliier and Alonso left, the team abandoned its ‘matrix structure’ and came up with a vastly improved car and team dynamics starting 2019. While Zak no doubt played a key role in that 2018 re-shuffle, he had precious little to show in the 1.5 years prior to that.

      The highlight of that 1.5 years being the costly decision to divorce Honda. A decision whose scars still haven’t left Mclaren. They made a loan arrangement with National Bank of Bahrain (June 2020), diluted their own ownership by selling stake to MSP capital (Dec 2020) and sold their office (April 2021).

      And inspite of all their improvements, Honda are still more likely to win the championship than Mclaren.

      1. I see no mention of Ron Dennis who got shoved out mid-2017. Since then they have got rid of a lot of the dead wood and rebuilt themselves into a competitive team. Zak was virtually invisible at that time and, up to the point of RD’s departure, it was Ron who called all the shots.

      2. With everything that happened under Dennis and Boullier, bringing in someone whose racing pedigree wasn’t in leading a team, very little technical knowledge, I didn’t have much faith. I was very hopeful of Boullier before, coming in after a successful time at Lotus, but he took it as a comfy gig, it was like he took his role at a big, prestigious team as a joke (remember when they gave out little chocolates to team members as a bonus?). Then they brought in and kicked out Jost Capito, a man of much success, who was gone almost before he even joined the team, just as Brown came in.

        With the McLaren and Honda partnership, he was put in a very unenviable position, the deal was too big, results were worsening in 2017 after a somewhat promising 2016, and the tension between the McLaren and Honda engineers was well reported. Obviously both sets of engineers themselves are very capable, but it only matters if you can bring out the best of them, and if they are hindering each other, you have to intervene. I think if they were to continue together, Honda wouldn’t be where it is now. Would McLaren? Who’s to say, but that decision worked out well I think. Choosing Renault as a short term solution was another good decision I think, Renault improved a lot in recent years on the engine side, and getting a Mercedes deal was another great deal (frankly I was surprised that Merc took up another team).

        Now, was the Honda divorce optimal? Certainly not. In my opinion it was the difficult but right choice, and in term of results it seems to be paying off. Financially it was a big hit, but a potential continuation of the lack of results would have been costly as well, and without the pandemic, I don’t know if those scars you mention would have needed these interventions. Overall, I think he managed a difficult job very well so far despite little experience in this specific field (I know he owns United Autosport, but I don’t know how involved he is in the daily running of that, and it’s also much smaller scale), all while picking up the team’s image from the shambles it’s been in, and adding Seidl and Ricciardo, too.

        1. *replace “optimal” with “all positive”

        2. @hunocsi the reason why Capito left was connected with Zak Brown’s appointment.

          Ron Dennis had been planning to restructure the team, and had hired Capito to take on a new role that would be created within the team in that restructuring process. However, when Ron Dennis left and Zak Brown took over, Ron’s restructuring plan was cancelled – meaning that the planned role for Capito also disappeared, and there was no real way to integrate Capito into the existing team.

          The split with Honda is something that I expect will be debated for years – it perhaps was for the best for both parties, but perhaps as much because the failings of the team after they split with Honda finally brought home to McLaren that they needed to reform, and that Honda wasn’t holding them back as much as they thought they were.

          1. I added the part about Capito to explain why I felt pessimistic about Brown joining at the time, but yeah I know he was Ron’s appointment.

      3. Disagree leaving honda was a bad decision, they still haven’t caught up to mercedes engine and are leaving next year, I think even going for honda was a bad decision, while they could’ve stayed with mercedes.

  10. Perfect lineup. Both are fantastic racers. Dan just needs a few more races to come to grips with the car and Lando impresses more and more particularly in his car placement during defense. I’m mighty impressed with McLaren since Brown took over and this driver consistancy (as long as Dan stays put) is exactly what they need.

  11. Sergey Martyn
    19th May 2021, 11:59

    Glad for Lando! Wise choice from the legendary team!

    1. And here we are again.

  12. Good to see. A solid mid field team with the right driver pairing and ambition for a lot more.
    Now only the problems created by pay TV solved and F1 has a bright future.

  13. I am happy for Lando’s achievement. He has proved his worth. My father follows F1 only superficially and he knows and notices only the best drivers. This year he has mentioned Lando almost as often as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, so that’s an honorable achievement, I guess. :)

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