21-year-old McLaren Formula One driver Lando Norris is in his fourth season with the papaya orange team, serving as a test driver in 2018 before stepping up to the race seat in 2019. Ahead of his third run at Monaco this weekend, the team announced it was extending the young English driver’s contract through at least the end of the 2023 season.
“I’m really pleased to have extended my relationship with McLaren from 2022,” Norris said. “Having been with the team for almost five years, I feel very much part of the family here and I couldn’t imagine starting the next phase of my career anywhere else. McLaren has been a huge support since my days in junior series and I’ve really enjoyed learning and developing as a driver since.
“My commitment to McLaren is clear: my goal is to win races and become Formula 1 world champion and I want to do that with this team. Since joining in 2017 our progression has been consistent and we have clear ambitions together for the future.
“I want to say thank you to Zak (Brown) and Andreas (Seidl) for the belief they’ve shown in me since the beginning, and to the whole team for giving me such a strong environment to continue my career in. We’ve already had some incredible moments together which I’ll never forget — two podiums and securing P3 in the championship — and together with Daniel and the rest of the team I’m looking forward to pushing for even more success in the years to come.”
While his rookie season with the team was an abysmal one for both Lando and Macca (including four retirements and six further non-points finishes), he gained some necessary experience before doing the yeoman’s work of delivering decent points hauls in 2020. This season he’s already scored a podium at Imola, and sits fourth in the driver’s championship.
Lando is an affable young bloke, and he has proven to get on quite well with his teammates. He might be among the most likeable drivers on the grid this year, and teamed with Daniel Ricciardo, the pair is definitely the most genuinely friendly-faced team in the sport. Danny Ric is widely known as among the best drivers in F1 not named Lewis or Max, and Lando has been walking all over his Aussie teammate thus far.
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Away from the track, Lando is a very fan-focused driver, gaining a massive following on Twitch and TikTok, which are extremely valuable for the McLaren brand.
Are McLaren and Lando headed for championship greatness in a potentially post-Lewis era of F1? Will the Zak Brown band be able to bolt together a truly competitive car for the 2022 regulation change? I wouldn’t be mad to see them fighting at the front, honestly. Norris seems like a top bloke. I hope he does well, and I think this contract extension was probably a good move for both parties.