With Sky F1 presenter Simon Lazenby including Lando Norris among up to six perceived team-leading drivers come a new-look 2026 campaign, could that move to Red Bull finally happen?
Norris has been linked with a switch to the team before, with Red Bull having admitted to previously assessing the Brit as an option, who is now under a long-term deal at McLaren which runs until the end of 2025.
McLaren then have the best part of three seasons left to prove to Norris that they can come good on their ambitions of returning to the title scene, with Norris regarded as a potential World Champion in adequate machinery.
But, if Norris were not to extend with McLaren after 2025, is he a driver who could look to take a punt on one of the planned six works teams as of F1 2026? Perhaps “Norris to Red Bull” could indeed happen, as Lazenby’s Sky F1 podcast colleague Naomi Schiff suggested.
But, alongside Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and Alpine with their exclusive engine deals, from 2026 Audi will also join the scene in partnership with Sauber, while it has been announced that Aston Martin will end their use of the Mercedes PU and become a works team alongside Honda from that year.
That then means six teams will have works status, which is being tipped as a very important factor for success under these future regulations, and Lazenby foresees up to six drivers who would be up to the task of leading their respective charges.
As well as Norris, he also includes his compatriots over at Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, in that mix.
Speaking on the Sky F1 podcast before the Aston Martin-Honda deal was made official, Lazenby said: “I think 2026 is is the main factor here for what’s going to affect everything.
“Because if what we hear is to be believed, Audi are obviously coming in, maybe Honda are going to partner up with Aston Martin.
“And all of a sudden you’ve got six engine manufacturers within the sport. You’ve got six works teams then. And then you’ve got six top level drivers if you think it’s a one-two basis to head up those teams.
“There are rumours that Carlos Sainz might go and head up Audi.
“So I think there’s different levels aren’t there of drivers in the sport. I think personally, there’s four or five or six that right now could lead those teams. And I’m including all three Brits in those, I think that they are all number one drivers.
“They just need the opportunity to potentially be in a works team, someone like Lando, for example.
“McLaren must be making a push to get their own engine manufacturer. Going forward, I just see that as to have a chance to win a championship, you’ve kind of got to be a works team driver.”
While Audi have played it cool on potential driver talk well in advance of 2026, Aston Martin have given a few clues into what their future may hold, including team boss Mike Krack stating his expectation that a 44-year-old Fernando Alonso will still be there, while the team has confirmed that Honda-backed AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda would be a contender.