The Red Bull Racing team is currently basking in the glory of their star driver, Max Verstappen, who seems poised to secure his third consecutive Formula 1 drivers’ title. Verstappen’s contract, a lucrative one, binds him to the team until 2028. However, the team’s second seat has been generating significant speculation and anticipation.
Sergio Perez, who signed a deal with the team until the end of 2024, has faced challenges with consistency throughout the current season. As a result, Perez now finds himself with just a 33-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the battle for the second spot in the world championship.
With Perez’s performance under scrutiny, the competition for the coveted second seat alongside Verstappen is heating up. Drivers like Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda from sister team AlphaTauri, as well as Red Bull reserve driver Liam Lawson, are all vying for this opportunity. Moreover, a notable name linked to this exciting prospect is Lando Norris, a close friend of Verstappen.
Horner himself acknowledges Norris’s prowess, stating, “Lando’s a great driver – he’s a big talent, big personality, and of course, he’s one of those drivers that you keep an eye on. But there’s many drivers that you keep an eye on as well. There’s a huge generation of drivers out there at the moment that have got a huge amount of talent. Now, being Max’s teammate is never going to be easy, and some drivers may be up for that challenge, some may not be. But of course, as well as the drivers we have in-house, we keep an eye on all the driver market. As you can imagine, there’s quite a bit of interest from certain sectors about driving a Red Bull car.”
While rumors continue to swirl about Norris’s potential move to Red Bull Racing, McLaren has been quick to address the situation. McLaren insists that conversations are actively underway to extend Norris’s contract beyond 2025. Norris’s teammate, Oscar Piastri, recently signed an extension that secures his position with the team until the end of 2026.
“We are optimistic that this pair of drivers will be the pair of drivers at McLaren for a long time,” affirmed McLaren team principal Andrea Stella. “We’re certainly having conversations with Lando. They are good conversations, we are happy with how these conversations are going.”
Norris himself weighed in on the situation, stating, “I’ve always said I want to win with McLaren, and I think we’re getting closer and closer to achieving that. And not just win races but win championships, both driver and constructors. I’m very much just concentrating on this year, next year, and 2025. There are still two-and-a-half years to try and progress, and we’ll see then.”
The world of Formula 1 remains an exciting and unpredictable one, and the prospect of Lando Norris joining Red Bull Racing in 2025 adds another layer of intrigue to the sport’s ever-evolving narrative. As the 2023 season progresses, fans and experts alike will continue to speculate about the next chapter in this captivating Formula 1 story.