Admitting there are times he thinks about what he could do to get a winning position earlier than McLaren’s 2025 target, Lando Norris insists he’s committed to the Woking team.
Norris has been the subject of speculation of late, pundits linking him to either Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes race seat when the Briton retires or Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari spot.
The latter would also depend on Hamilton hanging up his helmet with F1 pundit Peter Windsor suggesting Mercedes will make a play for Leclerc and Ferrari will turn to Norris to replace the Monégasque driver.
Neither option, though, is likely to be on the cards any time soon as Hamilton has hinted he wants to continue for a few more seasons.
Added to that Norris has a long-term deal with McLaren, one that runs until the end of 2025 and which the team has made clear there’s no exit clause written in.
But that doesn’t stop the Briton from pondering his future, especially as he wants to add his name to the list of F1 race winners.
“At times it’s tough because I’m a competitive guy and I want to win,” he said as per Autosport.
“Of course, at times you think what could you do in order to get into the position earlier.
“But also, I’m very comfortable with where I am right now. I have good confidence in the team… and that’s the most important thing for myself, to give myself that confidence, but also for the team to have it at the same time.”
He believes the day will come when McLaren are again winning races and fighting for the World title.
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But, he added, that’s only “potentially” in 2025.
“It’s a long way away,” he admitted, “but we’ll see how the progress can be this season, how we can do at the end of the season when we get things in the new wind tunnel and start to get our first idea.
“I want to believe ’24, ’25 are when you should start to see some bigger changes. It feels like a long time away. We’ve got the whole year to do. But the beginning of that starts this year.
“Last year was a very frustrating year because the new rules, new regulations was really a chance to pioneer that jump forward. But that wasn’t to be.
“I have definitely not lost faith in the team that I’m part of and I’m very happy to continue to work with them and to be part of the journey to hopefully getting back to winning championships and winning races.
“I have the patience this time to kind of wait out those few more years. I feel like I’ve got many years still to go and those two years.
“Potentially [2025 is] the year when we can be in a position to really fight for things.”
Speaking to Sky Sports at the unveiling of McLaren’s MCL60, CEO Zak Brown said he had no doubts about Norris’ commitment to McLaren despite the “noises” in the background.
The American insists both parties are keen to win together, adding they still have “time” to make it happen.
“At the end of the day he does want to win a World Championship and we’re on this journey together,” he said. “I know there’s some noise around but he knows what the game plan is.
“For sure we all want to be winning races and competing for the championship in the not-too-distant future.
“So as long as we do that I’m sure we’ll be racing together for a long time.
“I think we want to finish the story we started which has coming into Formula 1 and winning the World Championship with us. We’ve got time.”