Lando Norris says McLaren are capable of ending Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s dominance in Formula One.
The British driver has ended speculation over his future by signing a new contract with McLaren until at least the end of 2026.
Norris has spent the entirety of his F1 career with the Woking-based team and enjoyed his best season to date in 2023.
The 24-year-old claimed seven podium finishes and finished the campaign in sixth place in the driver standings with 205 points, just one point behind fourth-placed Fernando Alonso.
Lando Norris has sent a warning to Max Verstappen after signing a new contract
Norris’ previous contract was due to expire at the end of 2025, but he has now committed his future to McLaren for at least another year.
He was linked with a move to Red Bull to become the team-mate of three-time back-to-back world champion Verstappen.
But Norris says there were clear signs last season that McLaren was closing the gap on Red Bull.
And they are confident that they can challenge for the world championship in the near future.
Norris told Sky Sports: “Bearing in mind we’re talking about the most competitive and successful car in a season in the history of Formula 1 – and I think you’ve got to include the driver in that as well. – How close we have come to where we are I think the start of the season has been quite impressive.
“From finishing almost out of the points in every race to being the closest team on average to possibly the most successful car ever in Formula 1, I think I showed a lot, and showed a lot to everyone here at McLaren, What needs to be done to challenge what we have.
“So I want to create my own chapter and my own story of staying with McLaren and changing the team and being part of that journey.”
Norris admits there was interest from other places but he was always convinced that McLaren was the place to stay.
He added, “So there’s definitely always an interest in it and it’s always in the back of my mind that ‘what if I went here and what can I achieve’ etc., but I’m happy with where I am.
“I’m comfortable and I think to achieve a world championship you have to be happy and comfortable with where you are and I don’t think you’re able to achieve that by suddenly going to another team and having it in a year. So I think it’s best.”
Norris also admitted that he has had talks with other teams, but he is happy to put to rest any rumors of a possible departure from Bedford.
“Discussions happen from time to time,” he said. “I won’t lie and say no, discussions are always short and you talk to people and see ‘what can you offer’ but it never went any further than that.
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Lando Norris admits he talked to other teams before signing new McLaren contract
“There have always been things said and stories written in the media and it has never been the best thing for everyone at the factory.
“If you’re working on building a part that goes on my car, if you see there are ties to Norris here or there, it probably wouldn’t be the best thing to look at.
“So for the sake of the team I think that was always the reason we wanted to get it done now, to put those rumors to rest. And that’s what happened.
“I was convinced this was where I wanted to be, until ‘Hey, how are you?’ Those types of things at other places, it never went any further than that, and as soon as I came back here, it was a done deal.”
Lando Norris enjoys best season of his career in 2023
McLaren Racing CEO Jack Brown is delighted that Norris has signed a new multi-year deal.
Brown said: “I am delighted that we are continuing our relationship with Lando for many years to come.
“It has been a fantastic journey over the last six years, and he has shown great commitment and desire to drive the team forward and get McLaren back to the front of the grid.
“Last season we saw the fundamental role played by Lando with an impressive turnaround in results and I am looking forward to continuing this effort with more podiums.”