Lando Norris will stay with McLaren until at least the end of the 2025 season after extending his contract with the Formula One team.
Norris is one of F1’s most exciting and popular young talents. He debuted with McLaren in 2019 and enjoyed a standout 2021 season, in which he had four podium finishes and claimed a first F1 pole position.
Norris signed a multi-year extension in May last year but McLaren has moved quickly to further extend the British driver’s deal for another season.
Norris and McLaren announced the new deal on Wednesday, two days before the team launches its new car for the 2022 season, which starts with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20.
With new rules in place for 2022 and McLaren showing clear upward progress in recent seasons, Norris believes McLaren is the place he will win the F1 world championship.
“This is for the solidarity of me and the team and just to really put the confidence in both of us for the long-term,” he said. “I see that as a benefit, one for myself: to have this longer contract and stay here for a while, and one for the team, I do see it as a performance benefit and motivation benefit for the mechanics, for the engineers and everyone in MTC.
“If I want to find every bit of performance, then that is included in something like this. It’s not just purely in the race car, there’s other areas as well and this is definitely one of them. It was another opportunity for me to confirm my commitment to the team and for them to confirm it with me and give the whole team the confidence that I’m here to stay and want to keep trying to achieve things with them.
“I think that’s a great thing for the team and that’s why for my own belief I wanted to do it, because I believe it’s a big motivator for them. Those are the reasons.”
Norris revealed that other teams approached him about his future as well as McLaren.
“I mean there were little chats here and there, but that’s all and nothing went far,” Norris said. “And as soon as something came up, that’s when I would then continue going to Andreas [Seidl, McLaren team principal] and have a little conversation about what our future holds and so on.
“There were little things [with rival teams], no point lying about it, there were little things here and there with other teams, but nothing that went far at all.
Asked which teams approached him, Norris said: “That’s something I can’t say. You’d probably be able to guess reasonably well.”
He confirmed that his loyalty had been rewarded with an increased salary, although contract details were not released and Norris said money was not the main motivating factor.
“With all contracts that’s something that comes into it and something that if you do have a good season then naturally will rise a little bit, especially if there’s opportunities that we spoke about earlier from other teams or something that could have the opportunity to rise in the future,” Norris said. “That’s something that always helps with the money side of it.
“I know everyone says it, but honestly that’s not the biggest thing for me. I’ve always said my enjoyment and happiness comes above all and that’s still for me the most important thing. So that for me is the deciding factor in all of this.”
Norris’ teammate Daniel Ricciardo’s current deal, which started last year, runs until the end of the 2023 season.
Team boss Andreas Seidl said the extension is proof of Norris and McLaren’s commitment to winning together.
“The beauty of this new agreement we have in place is there’s no get-outs on both sides, which is simply the important message we wanted to give to the team as well because that shows that we are in this together and that there’s a strong belief from both sides,” Seidl said. “From our side, in the talent Lando is and at the same time from Lando’s side, in believing we can actually get there in these next few years.
“As Lando said, the announcement last year was pretty much just an extension of an existing contract which would have brought us only to two more years with Lando. If you look at the overall plan we have in place here, the journey we are in, we know that despite the good steps we made in previous years, we still have big next steps to make.”