Despite Zak Brown’s Veto, Christian Horner Refuses to Back Out From Attempts to Poach Lando Norris

Published 09/29/2023, 6:00 AM EDT

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Red Bull Racing seems to have a laser-focused eye on McLaren’s star, Lando Norris. Now, with Sergio Perez not exactly lighting up the tracks this season and Norris shining brighter than a beacon, rumors are rife about a potential switch for Lando Norris to Red Bull. Even Nico Rosberg, the F1 World Champion turned pundit, hints that Norris might be donning the Red Bull overalls sooner than we think.

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But wait, there’s a twist! Red Bull’s bigwigs have thrown water on these flames of speculation. They’ve confirmed that Perez is set to stay for another season. Helmut Marko even mentioned Norris’s “unfortunately long” contract with McLaren, which keeps him tethered until the end of 2025. We’re talking about the stern rejection of the switch by McLaren CEO Zak Brown some time ago. Inquired by Motorsport-Total.com about whether McLaren would turn down proposals to let Norris go, Brown responded: “Correct. Lando will be racing at McLaren through to 2025. Absolutely.”

via Reuters

With this keen interest, Red Bull boss Christian Horner maintains a positive stance, talking to Sky Sports F1: “Lando is a great driver. I mean, he’s a big talent, big personality, and of course, he’s one of those drivers that you keep an eye on. But, hang on a minute, he’s also quick to add they’re watching all the big talents on the grid.

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Horner, ever the strategist, hints that while Norris is on Red Bull’s radar, they’d prefer to promote their homegrown talent when the moment arises. The goal? To have the best dynamic duo on the grid. If their talent pool isn’t up to scratch, that’s when they’ll cast their net outside.

So, what’s the real lowdown on this Norris-Red Bull tango? Let’s turn the mic over to someone who’s been there, done that.

Lando Norris to Red Bull? Ralf Schumacher weighs in

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Former F1 star, Ralf Schumacher, believes that the two key ingredients to make this spicy rumor a reality are – wait for it – money and timing. While most of us would love to work alongside the champions in our fields, when Norris says he’d relish the chance to team up with the reigning champ, ears across the paddock perk up. And when he hints at the idea of sharing a garage with a mate? Well, that’s just juicy.

via Imago

But are Norris and Red Bull simply in the ‘early days of a romance’ or have they moved to the ‘serious relationship’ phase? Here’s the kicker: with McLaren’s MCL60 car looking sharper than ever, is it even the right time for Norris to swap over? Schumacher ponders, “Lando Norris will surely seek another challenge at some point, but is it already the right time? It depends a bit on money and maybe he believes he can beat the best driver in the world, who is Max Verstappen at the moment.”

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Whatever the case, if Norris does make the leap, the F1 grid is in for a shake-up. Buckle up, folks; this ride’s about to get bumpy!

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Written by:

Pulkit Jai

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Pulkit is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. With a strong academic background in engineering, he possesses an in-depth understanding of the intricate mechanics and technology driving Formula 1 racing. This expertise allows him to offer insightful analysis, exploring the technical aspects of the sport and shedding light on the innovative advancements that shape the world of F1.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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