Lando Norris has admitted he cannot “100%” pledge his long-term future to McLaren, but says he has “faith” in the team taking him to where he wants to be.
And by that, the Briton will inevitably mean grand prix wins and a World Championship.
Before the 2022 season began, Norris signed a new contract with McLaren through to the end of 2025 after helping the team to finish fourth in the previous year’s Constructors’ Championship.
But results-wise, as the sporting regulations meant all-new cars were needed for 2022, McLaren took a step backwards and slipped to fifth behind Alpine – while Norris slid from sixth to seventh in the Drivers’ standings, although still ‘best of the rest’ behind his Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes rivals.
Having impressed with his racing, in particular since his second F1 campaign in 2020 which he began with the first of his six career podium finishes, the 23-year-old looks ready for the next step and to start competing for victories on a regular basis.
The question is whether McLaren can provide him with a car to do that over the next couple of years, with Norris having said there will be “no excuses” by 2024 when their new wind tunnel and simulator are expected to be up and running.
On what he is looking for that would help to cement his future with McLaren, Norris told Sky F1: “It’s just faith, it’s just honesty – that’s the main thing I need.
“I’m not a guy who likes BS or likes people trying to make me happy, I like people just being honest.
“I have faith in McLaren, I have faith in the guys I work with, the whole team.
“Time will tell. You can never be 100 per cent certain where you’ll be, but you can have a good shot at it.”
A concern for Norris will be the lack of continuous progression from his team in 2022 compared to previous seasons, although he did take encouragement from how they had improved from a dismal Bahrain Grand Prix in which Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finished 15th and 14th respectively.
“I mean, from where we were in race one, I think we’ve done a good job, we recovered well,” said Norris.
“If I think of before this season, did we achieve in 2022 what we should have done as McLaren? Honestly, no.
“If we want to do well and we want to be champions at some point and we want to win races, we can’t be satisfied with where we have been this season, but we can certainly be satisfied with the progress we’ve made.
“From the mechanics with our pit-stops, our strategy, the whole team’s work ethic, so many things are working well – it’s just we need a slightly better car, that’s all.”