Zak Brown is unconcerned that the McLaren F1 Team could end up losing Lando Norris to a rival outfit if they do not provide the British racer with a race winning car.
Andreas Seidl’s departure as Team Principal at McLaren at the end of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship to join the Sauber F1 Team (currently Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN) as their new Chief Executive Officer next year has begun rumours about Norris potentially joining the Hinwil-based team when they become the works Audi Sport team in 2026.
Norris’ current contract currently runs until the end of the 2025 season, but Brown says he is confident McLaren can provide him with the car needed to become a race winner and potentially a challenge for the World Championship in the next couple of seasons.
“No, because I’m convinced we’re going to give him a winning car,” Brown is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com when asked if he was worried he could lose Norris to a rival team. “We have a long-term contract with him. I think he feels very comfortable within the team.
“Other than obviously the pressure we put on ourselves, because we don’t want to just give him a winning car, we want to give us a winning car. So, I think we’ve got a runway to get there.
“He knows the journey we’re on. He has bought into the journey that we’re on, and I think it’d be early to be worried about it.”
Brown continues to lavish praise on the twenty-three-year-old Briton, with the CEO of McLaren believing that he has continued to show just how good he is every time he gets behind the wheel of a racing car.
“Every step along the way, he gave you a reason to believe the next step he was going to be great,” said Brown.
“But we’ve seen drivers that have been great along the way and then, when they get to the top, you don’t know if it was them or the situation: Jan Magnussen right? He was mega in everything and then didn’t quite work in F1. Jos Verstappen was often mega in everything, it didn’t quite work in F1.
“Lando was mega in everything. And it has worked in F1. In fact, what I think I’m happiest to see is not just pure pace, but how few mistakes he makes, and how strong his racecraft is.
“Looking at Lando, year one. He had the pace, but probably didn’t have his elbows out enough. And now he’s fair, but he’s a tough character when you are racing.”