Lando Norris addresses lingering speculation over potential McLaren exit

Sam Cooper
Lando Norris speaking to the media after qualifying. Hungary July 2023

McLaren driver Lando Norris speaking to the media after qualifying. Hungary July 2023

Lando Norris has described talk of him moving away from McLaren as “nonsense” as the team continues to improve.

The idea of Norris moving onto greener pastures would not have seemed so fanciful at the start of the year with the MCL60 one of the worst cars on the grid – but their performance has skyrocketed since then.

Upgrades in Austria started a run that would culminate in back-to-back podiums for Norris and with a number of key staff arriving in the near future, it is looking like an exciting time to be a McLaren driver.

But as is the case with a talent as great as Norris, there are always going to be reports linking him to other teams with any one of the nine other constructors presumably happy to acquire the services of the 23-year-old.

Norris, who has a McLaren contract until the end of 2025, has described any talk of a move away as “nonsense.”

“It’s not something I think about,” he told Channel 4. “I see it a lot on social media and all this nonsense because a lot of people come up with some of these things that I see.

“I’m happy with the team. I could be happier if we were winning races but I also know that it takes time and a lot of effort, a lot of dedication to it but that’s what I signed up for.”

Since adding the upgrades initially to Norris’ car in Austria and then Oscar Piastri’s in Silverstone, McLaren have scored 70 points which amounts to 80% of their season total.

The improvement comes after not only changes to the car but to the team structure as well with technical director James Key losing his job and in his place came Peter Prodromou, Ferrari’s David Sanchez and Red Bull’s Rob Marshall with the latter two joining in 2024.

Despite the upwards momentum, Norris described himself as a “pessimistic guy” and said he still believed there were hard races to come.

“It is definitely true we’ve taken a step forward which is nice to see,” he said. “And we wouldn’t have been in this position if we didn’t bring upgrades and make the step that we have, [but] in the back of my mind I’m still a pessimistic guy.

PlanetF1.com recommends

Top 10: The drivers with the highest win percentages in F1 history

F1 Driver of the Day: Who has won the award in F1 2023?

“I know there’s going to be some races which we’re not going to get that good [result]. We had two good weekends but we are going to struggle in some of the coming races.

“But we’ve definitely taken a step forward which I guess I’m happiest about. We’ve given ourselves the chance to fight for good points and fight for podiums.

“There’s a lot of criticism that we get and then when we have a podium like last weekend, for me, that’s the verification that I need that I’m absolutely with the right team and the team I want to win with.”

Read next: Hungarian GP driver ratings: Heartbreak for Hamilton, redemption for Ricciardo