“No get-outs on both sides” in Norris’s new deal with McLaren

2022 F1 season

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Lando Norris’s new contract to drive for McLaren over the next four seasons gives both sides complete assurance they are committed to each other, says team principal Andreas Seidl.

McLaren has invested heavily in developing its infrastructure as it bids to return to championship contention for the first time since taking Lewis Hamilton to the 2008 drivers’ title.

The team and Norris have extended their previous deal, which was announced in May last year, to continue throughout the rebuilding period. However Seidl pointed out the new contract also includes watertight commitments between both parties which he expects will inspire confidence within the team.

“The beauty of this new agreement that we have in place is that there’s no get-outs on both sides,” he said, “which is simply this important message that we wanted to give to the team as well.

“That shows that we are in this together and there is strong belief on both sides: From our side in the talent Lando is, but at the same time from Lando’s side in believing that we can actually get there these next four years.”

Norris produced the best performance of his career to date last season. He held third place in the championship as late as the 12th round of the year, before slipping to sixth by the finale as rivals Ferrari put McLaren under greater pressure.

Seidl said he, Norris and McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown were in “permanent dialogue” with Norris about his future during 2021, which led to the decision to extend his deal.

“You obviously have a lot of conversations about where we are as a team, about the plans we have in place. And during one of these discussions it was also clear that there was an interest from our side, but also from Lando’s side in order to to commit for the long-term.

“Obviously conversations are consistently happening then, in steps, and in the end we came to this common view that putting a new four-year contract in place is the deal to make in order to have the best shot in order to achieve these common goals.”

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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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25 comments on ““No get-outs on both sides” in Norris’s new deal with McLaren”

  1. Though it makes sense to me (Lando is obviously a talent), I have to ask the question, what is the longest contract in F1 history? We know about Senna going to race-by-race, and all the other short ones, but whats the longest? 4 years has got to be up there.

    1. hasn’t Leclerc signed a % years deal with Ferrari?

    2. Alonso had a contract signed until 2016 with Ferrari during the 2011 season in May, so he had a 5 and a half season agreement in place… But left after 2014.

      1. @hunocsi my memory is terrible, how did Alonso / Ferrari come to an end early? Was it that Vettel hadn’t reached a certain points tally at a certain point in the season and so could break from Red Bull? And Fernando wasn’t aware and that skewed negotiations, and ultimately ended up with McLaren or nothing. Surely Ferrari would still have to buy him out. Or did I just imagine all that?

        1. Arrivabene got rid of Alonso at the end of 2014 in order to sign Vettel.

    3. Also, Hamilton signed up with Mclaren till 2012 at end of 2007. So that was 5 years.

      Lance Stroll has also been contracted to Lawrence owned teams since 2017 with no get-out clauses :) so that is 5 years and counting.

      On a serious note, how about Ferrari’s contract with Schumacher?

      1. I gave a look at schumacher’s contracts on google since he was my favourite driver, but I keep finding 2 year deals, don’t see any of the length of norris now or hamilton at mclaren.

    4. I think in stats like this, contracts with the optional extension, what is quite popular today, should not be treated the same as the contracts without the extension option, when we are looking for the longest contract ever. If it is not about contracts just time spent as a team’s driver, then it is easier to find, likely on Wikipedia or some site specialized on stats. Nowadays the “x year” extensions are quite popular imo.

      To me it appears that Bernasaurus looked for the longest contract without an extension option. I am not sure at all whose contract had or not had an extension option in the recent past :)

      1. If we factor in extensions, then Sergio Perez was a Force India (and and it’s successor) driver for quite long, most likely by extensions. However, he had a 3year-long renewal at his last stint at the team, and that was not fulfilled because he was dropped for Vettel. So fulfilled and unfilfilled contracts are further messing with the scenery, when it is about talking this kind of stat.

  2. No get outs, but you always need a backdoor or a window handy just in case, surely its prudent planning.

  3. You could see a lack of no get outs, as a lack of ambition.
    If you are sure next year will be a year to go for podiums, you could make arrangements to build upon.
    No get out is showing they both hope for the best but do it together. Growth for some year and then….
    But of course, that’s just my opinion.

    1. You could say it’s confidence in their mutual synergy. They do seem a good combination, McLaren and Norris. Realistically, based on expected performance under the new regulations, the only more ambitious moves for Norris would be Red Bull or Mercedes (Ferrari being more or less equal). Of course McLaren could mess up the new car design and Norris is then screwed. But unlikely.

      1. Isn’t it the riskiest year for a driver to commit multi years? We saw what a pairing like Alonso/Vandoorne are reduced to when the team has a miss. With the change of regulation, we might see a big shift in the teams but also in drivers as driving style might be quite different and we have seen that car handling preference can play a huge role.

        A bit surprising to me to see such commitment from both sides but the good part is that they better support each others if things don’t turn out the way they hoped. Last few years showed good synergies within McLaren and hopefully it continues for them, then this turns out to be great news.

        1. @jeanrien there was little risk given Lando was under contract until 2024 anyway. This new contract adds one more year and likely changes some other numbers as well which make it attracting to a driver.

        2. I agree with you, seems that Nando has much more to lose than McLaren with this extension. I agree that they have a strong relationship together, and they are building the team with key personnel and wind tunnel etc, but his contract was already long term. Unless they agreed on a bucketload of cash, I believe it was a bit naive from him to sign right away. It wouldn’t hurt him to wait until summer break.

        3. @jeanrien A risk, sure, but also, if McLaren produce an exceptional car, Norris could find himself in a sweet spot, ready to win a series of titles with no prospect of being ousted. The worst case scenario is that they end up where they are now, third or fourth best car, which – given that the likes of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari all have young top drivers unlikely to be dropped (presuming Russell delivers like Verstappen and Leclerc, more or less) – means that Norris isn’t likely to be losing out on a potential move to a better team.

          1. * probable worst case scenario…

    2. Don’t know. I remember Max could have left RedBull, but he liked the way they were going (I think he said he “believed in the program”). So he stayed without a realistic hope of becoming a champion immediately, but with confidence he’d get there. I think Norris has the same and the team think he can deliver it when thhey give him the car.

      1. this is a bad move by LN… he will neve have a championship capable car as a customer or Mercedes…

        when LH retires at the end of 23 (or 22) he could have got that spot

        1. Yes, I don’t think mclaren can really get back to winning titles as long as merc and red bull stay, but since he only extended by a year I heard, doesn’t change much (as in already had a contract till 2024).

  4. Spreading that butter thinly today F1Fanatic!

    1. Just reporting what McLaren put out in a press release :)

    2. Nice to see the classic name being mentioned, I also call it like that.

  5. McLaren is a team very much in ascension as is Norris as a driver. Obviously, they have weighed up the risks and found them acceptable in comparison to the potential benefits. This season will be the tell-all as far as the next 4 years go, so it will become clear pretty quickly which teams have got it right.
    Also, it’s good to see a level of optimism from a team as opposed to the faux doubts from the likes of Horner.
    This from Verstappen is rather telling and say more about the position Redbull are in for the next few years.

    “I think they know I love them,” Verstappen said. “And I hope we can do this for 10/15 years together. There’s no reason to change ever. I want to stay with them for the rest of my life. I hope they let me but yeah, it’s insane.

  6. Norris was so calm in 2021 yet was delivering great results. I believe he is a very fanstastic driver, I hope Mclaren can consistently give him the kind of car he needs to deliver these results.

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