Lando Norris has admitted “little discussions” took place with other teams before signing a new McLaren contract, but the decision to stay was an easy one for him.
McLaren announced an ‘extended multi-year’ contract for Norris on top of his existing deal, which already ran until the end of 2025, to fend off interest from others on the grid.
Key among this was Red Bull, with Helmut Marko known to have been a suitor – but when asked outright about whether or not a move to the reigning World Champions was of interest, Norris believes his team’s trajectory means he is in the right place.
Lando Norris: McLaren ‘showed me enough’ to pen new deal
A huge turnaround in form between the first and second half of 2023 put McLaren right behind Red Bull come the end of the season, with Norris having taken seven podiums as 2023 finished.
A potential partnership alongside Max Verstappen would have been a tantalising one for the neutral, but Norris explained that being part of the journey to the front with McLaren is what kept him at the team.
He was also keen to put rumours about his future to bed. Despite having two seasons to run on his previous deal, that did not stop speculation linking him to Red Bull.
When asked why he did not make the move to the Milton Keynes-based team, Norris highlighted that the competitiveness McLaren showed compared to Red Bull gave him hope his current team could compete alongside them in future.
“There’s always discussions every now and then,” Norris told Sky Sports.
“I’m not going to lie and say no, there’s always little discussions and you talk to people and see ‘what could you offer’ kind of thing but it never went further than that.
“Considering we are talking about the most competitive and successful car in the history of Formula 1 over a season – and I think you have to include the driver in that too – how close we got at certain places with where we started the season I think was pretty impressive.
“To go from out of the points pretty much every single race to being probably the closest team on average to the most successful car that’s ever been in Formula 1, I think showed me enough, and showed everyone here at McLaren enough, that we have what it takes to challenge them.
“Therefore I want to create my own chapter and my own story of being with McLaren and turning the team around and being part of that journey.
“So of course there’s always interest and in the back of my mind it’s always like, ‘What would happen if I went here and what could I achieve,’ and so forth.
“But I’m happy with where I am, I’m comfortable and I think in order to achieve a World Championship you need to be happy and comfortable with where you’re at.
“I don’t think you are able to achieve that by suddenly switching to another team and finding that within a year. So that’s why I think it’s best.”