Christian Horner on Red Bull's success and hints at next step
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Christian Horner has revealed Red Bull have held talks with Lando Norris “a couple of times”. But the Red Bull team principal joked that every time the pair had spoken Norris had signed a contract extension with McLaren “the next day”.
Horner made the admission after Norris revealed there had been talks with the reigning champions in the past. The comments would suggest the pair spoke ahead of the new season when Norris signed a four-year deal with McLaren.
Sergio Perez only signed a contract extension for 2023 ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, hinting that the Mexican could have been replaced if talks went differently. According to GPFans, Horner said: “We’ve spoken with Lando a couple of times over the years.
“But every time we’ve had a conversation, the next day he’s signed a contract with McLaren. He’s on a long-term contract with McLaren, and it looks like he’s going to be there for a few more years.”
Norris put pen to paper on a new deal in February, just weeks ahead of the new season. The former F2 champion’s contract will keep him at McLaren until the end of the 2025 season.
It was the 22-year-old’s second contract with the team in a year after agreeing to a deal to go “beyond 2022” last May. However, Norris clarified his talks with Horner were not as serious as first thought.
He stressed the conversation was just a “chat” purely to see “what options were available”.
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Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Norris explained: “It’s more just I was coming to the end of my contract, and it wasn’t like we were talking heavily. I literally said, it was just, everyone always tries to speak to all teams at some point, so I spoke to them, I spoke to a few other people.
“A chat’s a chat, it’s not like, ‘what we can do straight away?’ Just keeping in touch, things like that, it’s as simple as that sometimes. It was just coming to the end of the contract, you see what options are available, you just kind of find out what’s possible, what might be possible over the next few years.
“It wasn’t just Red Bull. Every driver has chats with a lot of the different teams on what could happen, and it’s as simple as that basically.”
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