McLaren driver Lando Norris has expressed his excitement at the prospect of seeing Lewis Hamilton joining Max Verstappen at Red Bull. In his view, Hamilton’s inclusion would provide a more formidable challenge than Red Bull’s current second driver, Sergio Perez.
As the 2023 Formula 1 season unfolds, Verstappen has dominated the scene, securing his third drivers’ championship with apparent ease. Red Bull’s constructors’ championship lead remains intact even without the significant 258 points contributed by Perez, who currently trails behind Verstappen in the drivers’ championship. Verstappen’s commanding performance, amassing 524 points across 20 rounds, has underscored his mastery of the dominant car produced by Red Bull for the season.
Despite Perez’s contributions, his performance has often fallen short of rivaling his teammate, with struggles in delivering competitive drives, particularly in qualifying. However, the Mexican driver is poised to remain Verstappen’s teammate for the 2024 Formula 1 season, given his existing contract with Red Bull, extended in May 2022.
Amidst these developments, Red Bull’s team principal, Christian Horner, has hinted at potential changes, acknowledging the team’s interest in Lando Norris as a potential replacement for Perez. While Norris is contracted with McLaren through 2025, the evolving landscape of the driver market suggests that possibilities may arise.
Notably, the Formula 1 driver market is set to witness significant shifts in 2024, with contracts for drivers such as Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc with Ferrari coming to an end. Despite the uncertainty, Norris sees a pool of talented drivers, including Sainz, Leclerc, George Russell, and Fernando Alonso, who could provide a formidable challenge to Verstappen if they were his teammates.
Expressing his thoughts on the matter, Norris stated, “I would like to be one at some point. Who else could it be? It would be nice if it was Lewis; it would be amazing to see him. Or Fernando, or Carlos, or Charles, or Russell? They’re all great drivers who you know would make it tougher for him. There have always been rumors with me and other drivers.”
While the prospect of a Verstappen-Hamilton partnership at Red Bull might be enticing for fans, the reality of such a star-studded lineup appears unlikely. The history of clashes and intense competition between Verstappen and Hamilton during the 2021 drivers’ championship race suggests that pairing them in the same team could potentially create sparks both on and off the track.