Lando Norris signs new contract to 2025 as McLaren ward Formula 1 rivals off British driver
Lando Norris signs four-year extension with McLaren as British driver and team stress aim for F1 titles; Norris admits other teams' interest but says: "This a strong message to put across to everyone the faith we have in each other."; McLaren launching car on Friday, live on Sky Sports F1
By Matt Morlidge
Last Updated: 09/02/22 3:13pm
Lando Norris has committed his Formula 1 future to McLaren by extending his contract until the end of 2025.
The new deal means Norris now has the longest contract on the F1 grid and ties the rising British superstar and iconic British team together well into the sport's new era, with McLaren hoping to return to title-winning ways.
Norris only signed a 'multi-year extension' last year but after a fantastic third season in the sport - which saw him claim his first pole position and four podiums - both driver and team were keen to "lock in" a commitment.
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The contract has no get-out clauses, even though Norris admitted there have been "little chats here and there" with other teams over the last year.
"I have grown up in this team and I'm part of this journey we're all on," said Norris, 22, who has dazzled since joining F1 as the youngest-ever British driver in 2019.
"I want to continue to try to reach that dream of ours and try to win races, and of course to try and win championships.
"Big thanks to Andreas [Seidl], Zak [Brown] and all of McLaren for having this faith in me. Of course it also shows the faith I have in McLaren and what they will be able to achieve in the next few years.
"We know it's not going to be quick, we're learning and there's still things we need to improve on to have the ability to fight for wins and championships, but I know that's coming up."
Norris has emerged as one of the sport's hottest properties in the last two seasons, and last year showed more consistency, scoring pole in Russia and coming agonisingly close to his race win before late rain chaos.
"He showed last year that in the right team and the right car, in just his third year in Formula 1, he can score pole positions and drive for race wins," said team principal Seidl.
"It was natural for us, we try to lock him in as long as possible here at McLaren for continuity and consistency."
Addressing the long-term deal and whether he can leave if McLaren aren't as successful as hoped, Norris insisted he sees his future with the Woking team, who have re-emerged as one of F1's leading contenders in recent years.
"This is more for the solidarity of me and the team, the confidence in both for the long term," said the British driver.
"I see that as a benefit 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 mechanics, engineers and everybody at MTC.
"If I want to find every bit of performance, that is included in something like this. It was another opportunity for me to confirm my commitment to the team, for them to confirm it with me, and give the whole team confidence that I'm here to stay and trying to achieve things with them."
McLaren are the sport's second most successful outfit in history with 20 titles combined, although they haven't won a championship since Lewis Hamilton's drivers' crown back in 2008. They have, however, enjoyed a marked improvement recently - finishing third and fourth in 2020 and '21 - and hope to maximise the sport's new-for-2022 regulations which are set to shake up the sport and its pecking order.
It is no coincidence that Norris' arrival has coincided with that upturn in fortunes.
Norris admits other 'talks' as McLaren ward off rivals
Just 22-years-old and already considered one of F1's best drivers - delivering on his potential last year with superb weekends which earned praise from Hamilton, among others - Norris is set to be one of the most in-demand stars over the next four years, particularly with his British compatriot not likely to be in the sport for much longer.
"I'm sure I could have opportunities to go elsewhere in the future but for the next four years, and a big part of my life, I want to stay here and enjoy the time with McLaren and the people that brought me into this sport," said Norris.
"This a very strong message to put across to everyone the faith we have in each other, the confidence I have in McLaren can recover and get to the front in the next few years."
Norris admitted other teams were interested in him.
"There were little chats here and there but that's all. If something came up that's when I would go to Andreas and have a conversation. There were little things here and there with various other teams but nothing that went far at all.
"Which teams? That's something I can't say but you would probably be able to guess reasonably well!"
He said potentially joining another team was part of his decision-making process.
"I have to weigh in all the factors and it's still my own career that I'm focusing on. I look at all the best options for me and what I can be most successful in, where I believe I can achieve the best but also what I believe is the best for me as a driver and as a person, and in the longer term.
"Of course there will be opportunities for sure now for other drivers to do things and maybe go to Red Bull or Mercedes.
"But the fact that I would have had those opportunities and still chose to stay at McLaren is I think the good thing about all this, I know those opportunities would arise in the next few years but the fact is I've still committed to McLaren. I think that's quite a strong message that this is where I want to be and where I want to achieve race wins, podiums and championships.
"Weighing all the factors for my own benefit and where I think I could have bene in the next few years with drivers leaving so on, but in the end for me McLaren was still the best option."
McLaren's car launch
On Friday at 7pm, the new car of Norris and Daniel Ricciardo will be revealed. McLaren are using the event, which will be held at the team's MTC base in Woking, to launch all four of their racing programmes for 2022 (F1, IndyCar, Extreme E and Esports).