McLaren chief in Lando Norris future admission after Ferrari and Red Bull links

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella has admitted winless Lando Norris is “not comfortable” with the team. The 24-year-old completed his fifth season at McLaren but although he achieved a career-high seven podiums and six second-placed finishes, a win managed to escape the Brit, despite testing runaway leaders Red Bull’s resolve at Silverstone and Sau Paulo.

Singapore also presented an opportunity for McLaren to make their mark but they were beaten to the top spot by Carlos Sainz and Ferrari. “I’d rather accept the fact we haven’t put Lando in the conditions to do it yet,” McLaren team principal Stella admitted to F1’s website.

“This is not a comfortable place. We can try and cope. But it’s not comfortable for Lando and it’s not comfortable for us. I’d rather start from accepting this and work the best way to making this possible, rather than almost pretend that it doesn’t make any difference.

“We are here to win races. I don’t want a driver who doesn’t have this strong drive. If this makes him uncomfortable and makes us uncomfortable, we accept it. It’s going to be extra determination to create the conditions to win races.”

Norris is confident a win is coming and says McLaren is now more capable of challenging the grid’s elite teams. “We’re in a much better position that we can focus on some of the finer details, but details which we’ve not really been able to improve much at all over the last five years,” said Norris on McLaren, who haven’t finished first since 2021.

“Things that I would love to have more of as a driver, and I think suit me more as a driver, so trying to work on those things. Now we’re more capable than everyone trying to focus on them and improve them. That will help with qualifying, help with race pace, and small things can make a big difference. If we can work on that, then I’m confident we can have a very good car next year.”

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Despite not taking his first chequered flag, Norris is regarded as one of F1’s brightest talents. Both Red Bull and Ferrari have been linked to Norris this season as a potential replacement for Sergio Perez or Sainz ahead of the 2025 season.

Three-time F1 world champion Max Verstappen and Norris grew up as childhood friends from their karting days. The Dutchman would love to team up with Norris in the future, as would McLaren’s main man. Norris said: “It’s definitely something I would be open to in the future. I think I can happily say Max is probably one of the best drivers ever in the history of Formula 1. I never raced against him until I was in Formula 1 but I was always in the category below. In karting, I already knew him reasonably well.

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