Lando Norris admits considering leaving McLaren amid interest from two F1 rivals

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Lando Norris has only ever raced for McLaren in F1 (Image: HOCH ZWEI/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)
Lando Norris has only ever raced for McLaren in F1 (Image: HOCH ZWEI/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

Lando Norris admitted to considering leaving McLaren for "something different" after an awful start to this Formula 1 season.

The Brit signed a new deal keeping him with the Woking squad until the end of 2025. But that contract extension coincided with the start of a period of stagnation for the team.

Having shown signs of challenging the 'big three', McLaren lost out on fourth place last year to rivals Alpine. And it looked as though this season would be even worse as they started with one of the slowest cars on the grid.

But a raft of upgrades have propelled the team back towards the front of the grid, challenging for podiums in their most recent outings. And though Norris admits to having had second thoughts about his McLaren future, he now insists he is delighted with where he is.

"In the back of my mind, there's that impatient game of, 'Do I stick it out for another few years, or is it time to look at something different?'" he told Sky F1. "But the more we achieve things like we have done over the past few weeks, the more I'm very confident with the decision I made to stay until 2025, and the more confident I am that we can achieve our goals together in the future."

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Norris secured back-to-back podiums at Silverstone and in Hungary, finishing second behind Max Verstappen on both occasions. He now has eight top-three finishes to his name in F1, but a maiden victory continues to elude the Brit.

Not only does he want to finally get over that hill, but the 23-year-old thinks it will be all the more sweet if he can do so with the team which gave him his chance in the sport. He added: "Of course I want to win races with McLaren. I want to win in papaya, I want to win championships.

"I want to achieve my success and I want to achieve my goals with McLaren. That's been my target since I've come here, since I've entered Formula 1 with this team."

Red Bull have admitted to holding conversations with Norris in the past and continue to keep tabs on his availability. And Ferrari were recently linked with him amid suggestions that he might have even signed a pre-contract with the Italians.

But the best story for his career, he continues to believe would be a rise to the top with this McLaren team. He said: "I guess I'm a loyal guy from that point of view, that I've joined the team, they gave me a chance in Formula 1 and I want to deliver and achieve success for them.

"And I think it's a cooler story at the same time, to go from where we were a few years ago, a team that was really struggling, to fighting back and being that first team to really come back from a long way and fight for championships and wins. I think it would be just a cool story to look back on in 10, 20 years."

Daniel Moxon

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